Dale Taylor Receives Maiden Northern Ireland Call-Up For 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

Ian Baraclough has handed 17 year-old Dale Taylor his first senior call-up as he names his squad for Northern Ireland’s final 2022 World Cup qualifiers against Lithuania and Italy. 

Taylor replaces Blackpool striker, Shayne Lavery who is absent with a hamstring injury which forced him to withdraw from last month’s qualifiers, which saw the Green and White Army qualifying ambitions ended with away defeats to Switzerland and Bulgaria.

Dion Charles also has been dropped from the forward selection with Gavin Whyte promoted from midfield to replace the Accrington Stanley player.

In goal, Baraclough has dropped Dundee United’s Trevor Carson as part of some experimental changes as Reading’s Luke Southwood receives his first senior call-up.

In defence, Hearts’ Michael Smith has been snubbed as Ethan Galbraith returns in midfield, whilst Conor Bradley has been switched from midfield selection to defence with Stuart Dallas moved into midfield instead.

Last month’s late midfield call-ups, Carl Winchester and Alfie McCalmont failed to impress as Baraclough named an unchanged selection, in which Steven Davis, Paddy McNair and Ali McCann kept their places despite Galbraith’s return.

Northern Ireland will conclude their World Cup Qualifying campaign with two home games at Windsor Park, Belfast, as they welcome Lithuania on Friday 12 November before hosting Italy on Monday 15 November with both games set for 7:45pm (GMT) kick offs.

Here is the 25-man Northern Ireland squad in full.

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

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

Midfield: Steven Davis (Rangers), Niall McGinn (Aberdeen), Corry Evans (Sunderland), Paddy McNair (Middlesbrough), George Saville (Millwall), Jordan Thompson (Stoke City), Jordan Jones (Wigan Athletic), Ali McCann (St Johnstone), Stuart Dallas (Leeds United), Ethan Galbraith (Doncaster Rovers – on loan from Manchester United).

Forward: Josh Magennis (Hull City), Conor Washington (Charlton Athletic), Gavin Whyte (Oxford United, loan from Cardiff), Dale Taylor (Nottingham Forest)

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