Talking points ahead of Northern Ireland’s friendly against Spain

Northern Ireland will take on Euro 2024-bound Spain in a friendly at the Son Moix stadium in Mallorca on Saturday night.

Here the PA news agency looks at the key talking points ahead of the fixture.

Happy memories

Soccer – Northern Ireland v Spain – Windsor Park – Belfast
David Healy (right) scored a hat-trick against Spain in a European qualifier in 2006 (Paul Faith/PA)

A huge test

Northern Ireland Training and Press Conference – Hampden Park – Monday 25th March
Michael O’Neill’s side have built momentum with recent results (Jane Barlow/PA)

Familiar faces and young blood

Rodri file photo
Manchester City’s Rodri is among the many stars in Spain’s side (Martin Rickett/PA)

Corry’s return

While the focus has largely flipped to the exciting young players in O’Neill’s squad, experience will be critical against Spain and the return of Corry Evans will be welcome to the manager. It remains to be seen what sort of role the 33-year-old can play, having only made three appearances at the tail end of the season following a serious knee injury which has meant he has earned only one cap in the last two years. But, alongside brother Jonny, Corry seems certain to have an important job to do for at least some of the night in midfield.

Soaking up the sun

Northern Ireland flew in to Palma on Thursday, but came here from their warm weather training camp in Murcia – the location for Tuesday’s match against Andorra. The extended summer break is the sort of opportunity O’Neill craves to spend real time with his players, enabling them to get into details on the way he wants them to play. As he moulds a new-look team, these two weeks could prove invaluable as attention turns to the Nations League fixtures to come and next year’s World Cup qualifiers.

– Advertisement –
– Advertisement –