Jonny Evans returns to Northern Ireland squad for final WC qualifiers

Northern Ireland

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Northern Ireland manager Ian Baraclough has named a 25-strong panel for the games against the Lithuanians on Friday 12 November and the Italians on Monday 15 November at the National Football Stadium at Windsor Park.

The Evans brothers make their return to the international team after they both pulled out of last month’s qualifiers through injury.

Preston North End midfielder Ali McCann, who also missed October’s double-header against Switzerland and Bulgaria through injury, has returned to the fold, too.

Manchester United’s Ethan Galbraith, who has been captaining the U21s, has been called up to the senior side once again after an impressive start to life on loan at Doncaster Rovers.

Blackpool forward Shayne Lavery, however, is among those who are yet to return to the side, missing out through injury.

The Northern Ireland senior men’s team boss has given a first senior call-up to young Nottingham Forest striker Dale Taylor, who has previously played extensively at underage level for his country.

Reading goalkeeper Luke Southwood will join a Northern Irish set-up for the first time in his career.

Qualification is not a possibility for Ian Baraclough and co. but strong results and a Bulgarian defeat to Switzerland will see them finish third, despite their loss to Yasen Petrov’s side.

Northern Ireland squad for November Internationals

Goalkeepers – Bailey Peacock-Farrell (Sheffield Wednesday, on loan from Burnley), Conor Hazard (Celtic), Luke Southwood (Reading).

Defenders – Jonny Evans (Leicester City), Craig Cathcart (Watford), Shane Ferguson (Rotherham United), Jamal Lewis (Newcastle United), Daniel Ballard (Millwall, on loan from Arsenal), Tom Flanagan (Sunderland), Ciaron Brown (Cardiff City), Conor Bradley (Liverpool).

Midfielders – Steven Davis (Rangers), Niall McGinn (Aberdeen), Corry Evans (Sunderland), Stuart Dallas (Leeds United), Patrick McNair (Middlesbrough), George Saville (Millwall), Jordan Thompson (Stoke City), Jordan Jones (Wigan Athletic), Alistair McCann (Preston North End), Ethan Galbraith (Doncaster Rovers, on loan from Manchester United).

Forwards – Josh Magennis (Hull City), Conor Washington (Charlton Athletic), Gavin Whyte (Oxford United, on loan from Cardiff City), Dale Taylor (Nottingham Forest).

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