Ireland to play Belgium and Lithuania in March friendlies


Belgium will play the Republic of Ireland in a glamour March friendly at Aviva Stadium.

And Stephen Kenny’s Boys in Green have also lined up a home game with Lithuania at the Dublin venue four days later.

The FAI confirmed the fixtures this afternoon with world No 1 Belgium first up on Saturday, March 26 before hosting Lithuania on Tuesday, March 29.

Reports in the Belgian claim Red Devils manager Roberto Martinez may experiment with his squad by only selecting players with 50 caps or fewer.

European champions Italy were lined up as the glamour friendly opponents in March but plans changed once they were landed with a World Cup playoff that month.

Belgium have instead accepted the offer as part of the FAI’s centenary celebrations and Ireland have not played them since their 3-0 defeat in the group stages of the Euro 2016 finals.

The March friendlies are warm-up games for June when Ireland play four Nations League games in 10 days.

Kenny’s team hosts Ukraine on June 4 before facing Armenia away on June 7.

The Boys in Green return to host Scotland on June 11 before an away clash with Ukraine on June 14.

But that trip to Ukraine could yet be moved to a neutral venue if the political tension between Ukraine and Russia escalates.


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