Grigg included in Northern Ireland squad to face Belarus

Wigan Athletic's talisman has been granted an opportunity to prove his worth when Northern Ireland meet Belarus in a friendly ahead of Euro 2016.

Grigg included in Northern Ireland squad to face Belarus
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Wigan Athletic's marksman Will Grigg has been included among Michael O'Neill's 28-man squad for Northern Ireland's clash with Belarus ahead of the forthcoming European Championships.

The 24-year-old has been the catalyst behind the Latics' return to the Championship and has been rewarded with a chance to prove his worth before the final 23-man squad is chosen on May 28.

Liam Boyce of SPFL outfit Ross County is another surprise inclusion in O'Neill's squad and it is believed both are battling for the one remaining forward spot in the squad.

The rest

Regulars Kyle Lafferty and Kilmarnock hitman Josh Magennis will be keen to secure their spots in the final 23-man squad, with the latter facing a potentially career-defining week when his side meet Falkirk in the SPFL play-offs.

Midfield was a marked brightspot for the Irish during their qualification campaign and skipper Steven Davis will be bouyed by his displays for Southampton during the Premier League run-in.

Leeds United midfielder Stuart Dallas retains his place in the squad alongside Aberdeen's Niall McGinn and Reading's Oliver Norwood.

Defensively, O'Neill has instilled faith in the cable of players that helped Northern Ireland stamp their tickets to France, with Doncaster Rovers' Luke McCullough and Fleetwood Town's Connor McLaughlin particularly determined to impress.

Hamilton Academical's Michael McGovern, St. Johnstone's Alan Mannus and Notts County's Roy Carroll make up the trio of goalkeepers keen to impress before the final squad is announced.

The Northern Ireland squad in full. | Image source: Official IFA
The Northern Ireland squad in full. | Image source: Official IFA

Key fixtures

O'Neill's outfit meet Belarus before the final 23-man squad is released a day later on May 28.

The squad then face Slovakia away to conclude the round of friendlies before their Euro 2016 campaign commences against Poland on June 12 in Lyon.

The Irish then meet Ukraine four days later before their showdown with the world champions Germany on June 21.