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Ireland to face England in Wembley friendly next month

Stephen Kenny’s men will square off with Gareth Southgate and his charges before Ireland’s Nations League clashes with Wales and Bulgaria.

Shane Long wins a header against Gary Cahill and Glen Johnson during Ireland's last trip to Wembley seven years ago.
Shane Long wins a header against Gary Cahill and Glen Johnson during Ireland's last trip to Wembley seven years ago.
Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

THE REPUBLIC OF Ireland will face England in a friendly at Wembley Stadium on 12 November, the English FA has confirmed.

Stephen Kenny’s men will replace New Zealand who withdrew from their friendly arrangement with England due to uncertainty regarding squad selection created by the shifting nature of travel restrictions during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The fixture is scheduled to take place behind closed doors, and will precede Ireland’s Nations League fixtures at Wales (15 November) and at home to Bulgaria (18 November).

Ireland’s last meeting with England was a goalless draw at the Aviva Stadium in June 2015, while their most recent Wembley encounter finished 1-1 in May 2013 with Frank Lampard cancelling out a spectacular Shane Long header.

The Boys in Green are unbeaten in seven against the English, their last defeat a 2-1 friendly reversal at Wembley in 1985.

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In June, the Fifa Council approved for this year’s October and November international windows to be extended so that Uefa nations would play three games in order to cover for postponed fixtures in March.

Ireland had been due to travel to Bosnia for a friendly between two beaten Euro 2020 play-off semi-finalists on 12 November but the Irish Independent reported on Tuesday that the Bosnians had requested of Uefa that they drop that fixture and play Iran instead. This suited Ireland who, while they have to fulfill a fixture on the same date in any case as part of Uefa’s TV dealings, will now be spared the journey to Sarajevo and can line out closer to home — and closer to their subsequent fixture away to Wales — instead.

England will travel to Belgium and host Iceland on 15 and 18 November following next month’s friendly encounter.

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