O'Neill names Northern Ireland squad for crucial Greece and Finland games
Image credit: Daily Mail - PA

Northern Ireland manager, Michael O'Neill, has named his final squad for the EURO 2016 qualifying campaign games against Greece and Finland.

O'Neill has overseen great change in the camp and is on the verge of making history. One more win, or two draws, from their last two tussle in Group F will see them qualify for their first ever European Championship finals. It would also be the first major tournament they have reached since the 1986 World Cup in Mexico.

He opted to select an almost identical squad to that which took to the field against the Faroe Islands and Hungary in the last qualifiers. After winning 3-1 away against the former, Kyle Lafferty's 93rd minute equaliser was required to secure a point against Hungary. That goal was vital, as defeat would have closed the gap massively between the two sides but now O'Neiil's men just need to hope the Hungarians fail to win their last two games.

Injury worries and suspensions to play a part in selection

It was not be all plain sailing for the Green and White Army in the coming days, as Gareth McAuley sat out West Bromwich Albion's 3-2 defeat to Everton on Monday and doubts have been raised over Niall McGinn's availability. It is unsure what the situation is in regards to his fitness, but the main conern comes in those players who will miss the home game against Greece.

Kyle Lafferty, Conor McLaughlin and Chris Baird all picked up cards that ruled them out of the massive clash at Windsor Park. Craig Cathcart will likely replaced McLaughlin and Corry Evans should take Baird's place. The dilemma surrounds Lafferty's replacement, with any of the forward players gunning for a starting spot. Liam Boyce has been in great form for Ross County, although Josh Magennis seems to be O'Neill preferred option.

Northern Ireland's 26-man squad to face Greece (8th October) and Finland (11th October) in full:

Goalkeepers: Roy Carroll (Notts County), Alan Mannus (St. Johnstone), Michael McGovern (Hamilton Academical).

Defenders: Aaron Hughes (Melbourne City), Chris Baird (Derby County), Gareth McAuley (West Bromwich Albion), Jonny Evans (West Bromwich Albion), Craig Cathcart (Watford), Shane Ferguson (Millwall), Lee Hodson (Milton Keynes Dons), Conor McLaughlin (Fleetwood Town), Patrick McNair (Manchester United).

Midfielders: Steven Davis (Southampton), Chris Brunt (West Bromwich Albion), Corry Evans (Blackburn Rovers), Oliver Norwood (Reading), Patrick McCourt (Luton Town), Stuart Dallas (Leeds United), Ryan McLaughlin (Aberdeen).

Forwards: Kyle Lafferty (Norwich City), Niall McGinn (Aberdeen), Jamie Ward (Nottingham Forest), Josh Magennis (Kilmarnock), Billy McKay (Dundee United), Will Grigg (Wigan Atheltic), Liam Boyce (Ross County).

VAVEL Logo