Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland to play each other later this year

Republic of Ireland boss Martin O'Neill and Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill
Republic of Ireland boss Martin O'Neill and Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill

Northern Ireland will play the Republic of Ireland in a friendly match at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin later this year, it has emerged.

The match, set to be played on on Thursday, November 15 (kick-off 19:45) will be the first game between the two teams for seven years. It will also be the first time Michael O’Neill and Martin O’Neill have met as rival international managers.

The announcement was made by the Irish Football Association on Monday afternoon.

The match falls on a UEFA Nations League game day, but with neither country having a competitive fixture on that date, the friendly will be used instead by both teams to prepare for the final round of Group B matches played the following weekend.

Speaking to the Irish FA's official website, Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill said: “UEFA have made it mandatory that we play a friendly on that date and when we looked at the options across Europe, travelling to Dublin to play the Republic of Ireland made a lot of sense.

"It means that we can stay on the island for the week, train in our usual environment and play a game that will be a good test for us ahead of the Austria match.

“Both countries qualified for UEFA EURO 2016 and both narrowly missed out on qualification for Russia, so it will be an evenly matched and hard-fought contest.

"From a personal point of view I am looking forward to managing a team against Martin, a manager who I hugely respect and admire."

The IFA said ticket details for the game will be released later in the year.