Double header revealed in Nations League squad

Northern Ireland coach Ian Baraklough has included a new face in his squad for the Nations League matches against Kosovo and Greece this month.

Kofi Palmer received his first call-up after moving from Larne to Crystal Palace in the summer. The young defender, who will celebrate his 22nd birthday on Monday, has previously played for his country’s under-21 and under-19 national team. He is the only unassigned player on the board.

Northern Ireland’s 24-man side in their League C Group B match against Kosovo (September 24) and the away game against Greece (September 27) show many changes from the one Baraklough selected for his Nations League quadruple header in June.

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Wigan Athletic striker Josh Magnes, Sunderland midfielder Corey Evans, Rotherham United winger Shane Ferguson, Shrewsbury Town defender Tom Flanagan and Helsinki goalkeeper Conor Hazard are all back in action.

Newcastle United defender Jamal Lewis, who is fully fit again after a string of setbacks due to injury last season, is also back.

Manchester City midfielder Shea Charles retains his place in the board after playing in all four of the Nations League matches in June. Glentoran winger Conor McMenamin was also included again after making his debut with the team and winning three caps in the early summer.

So far, Northern Ireland have drawn twice and lost twice in C2. They opened their last Nations League game with a 1-0 defeat to Greece in Belfast before tying 0-0 away to Cyprus. The third game of the summer saw their four-way loss 3-2 away to Kosovo, while the last game in the series was a 2-2 draw with Cyprus at home.

Sunderland defender Daniel Ballard, who scored against Kosovo in Pristina, is unavailable for the last two games of the season due to injury, while this time missing Dundee winger Niall McGinn, Kilmarnock midfielder Liam Donnelly and Huddersfield Town defender Brody Spencer, who made his June debut.

Goalkeepers Trevor Carson (St Mirren) and former Glenavon goalkeeper Josh Clark, now with Celtic, were also not included.

Middlesbrough midfielder Collan Boyd Muncie, Sunderland defender Trey Hume, Rangers midfielder Charlie McCann and Leeds United midfielder Alfie McCalmont are other players from the former squad who have missed out on the squad this month.

Watford defender Craig Cathcart and Rotherham United striker Conor Washington were not included, both of whom missed the four games early summer, while Leeds United defender/midfield Stuart Dallas was absent for a long time through injury.

Northern Ireland squad for the UEFA Nations League matches against Kosovo and Greece:

goalkeepers: Billy Peacock Farrell (Burnley), Luke Southwood (Cheltenham Town, on loan from Reading), Conor Hazard (Helsinki).

Defenders: Jonny Evans (Leicester City), Paddy McNair (Middlesbrough), Conor Bradley (Bolton Wanderers, on loan from Liverpool), Jamal Lewis (Newcastle United), Tom Flanagan (Shrewsbury Town), Ciaron Brown (Oxford United), Paddy Lane ( Fleetwood Town), Kofi Palmer (Crystal Palace).

Midfielders: Stephen Davis (Rangers), Corey Evans (Sunderland), Shane Ferguson (Rotherham United), George Savile (Millwall), Jordan Thompson (Stoke City), Alistair McCann (Preston North End), Shea Charles (Manchester City), Conor McMenamin ( Glentoran).

Attackers: Kyle Lafferty (Kilmarnock), Josh Maginnis (Wigan Athletic), Gavin White (Cardiff City), Shane Lavery (Blackpool), Dion Charles (Bolton Wanderers).