Mick McCarthy will send a much-changed Republic of Ireland side into friendly battle with unfamiliar foe New Zealand on Thursday night with one eye on Monday’s Euro 2020 showdown with Denmark.
McCarthy is unlikely to risk any of his big names with qualification at stake against the Danes and has already indicated that there will be several new faces in his team.
Here, the PA news agency takes a look at some of the talking points surrounding the game.
Just as he did with Robbie Keane back in 1998, McCarthy has handed a 17-year-old striker the chance to prove himself at senior international with Tottenham’s Troy Parrott set to make his debut against New Zealand. Parrott, however, will not be the only teenager on the pitch with 19-year-old Celtic full-back Lee O’Connor, who is suspended for the under-21s’ qualifier in Armenia, also making his debut.
Keeping it real
All White on the night
Remarkably, New Zealand have not played a meaningful game for 525 days after a period of upheaval with the game’s governing body. However, new head coach and former Leeds defender Danny Hay has already set his sights on qualification for the 2022 World Cup finals in Qatar, and will hope to mould a team around experienced West Ham defender Winston Reid, who is set to return from an 18-month injury lay-off in Dublin, and Burnley striker Chris Wood.