Confirmed: Poland v Northern Ireland lineups - Kyle Lafferty starts

Northern Ireland's Kyle Lafferty poses for photos before they leave for Euro 2016

Here is how the two sides will line up for this afternoon's Euro 2016 clash in Nice...

Picture Supplied by Action Images

After a 30-year wait, Northern Ireland play their first game at a major international tournament since the 1986 World Cup this afternoon when they take on Poland in their Euro 2016 opener at the Allianz Riviera in Nice.

Michael O’Neill’s side go into the game on national-record 12-match unbeaten run after becoming the first fifth-seeded country to win a European Championship qualifying group and have also gone 271 minutes without conceding.

Their impressive run of results has seen them jump two places ahead of Poland into 25th place in the FIFA world rankings, but the stingy defence will still need to be on top form against their Group C rivals to keep the prolific Robert Lewandowski in check.

The 27-year-old striker is coming off a 42-goal season with Bayern Munich and also netted 13 times in qualifying to equal the record Northern Ireland’s own David Healy set back in 2008, helping his country finish the campaign with 33 goals in total.

Northern Ireland Training - EURO 2016

Kyle Lafferty, meanwhile, was involved in half of the Green and White Army’s goals in qualifying, scoring seven, and has shaken off a worrying groin injury to make the starting XI for their first group game.

The Norwich City forward, who spent part of last term on loan at Birmingham City, will have to find a way past Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny on the afternoon but should keep the Poland defence on their toes providing he is back up to full speed.

Southampton midfielder and skipper Steven Davis should also pose a goal threat playing in the hole, while Oliver Norwood, Chris Baird and Manchester United's Paddy McNair line up behind him in the middle of the park.

O'Neill's side will also be starting with a three-man central defence to deal with the threat of Lewandowksi, with Premier League trio Gareth McAuley, Jonny Evans and Craig Cathcart tasked with keeping the Bayern star in check for the 90 minutes.

Poland lineup


  • Wojciech Szczęsny
  • Kamil Glik
  • Artur Jędrzejczyk
  • Michał Pazdan
  • Łukasz Piszczek
  • Jakub Błaszczykowski
  • Bartosz Kapustka
  • Grzegorz Krychowiak
  • Krzysztof Mączyński
  • Robert Lewandowski
  • Arkadiusz Milik

Substitutes: Artur Boruc, Łukasz Fabiański, Thiago Cionek, Bartosz Salamon, Jakub Wawrzyniak, Tomasz Jodłowiec, Karol Linetty, Sławomir Peszko, Filip Starzyński, Piotr Zieliński, Kamil Grosicki, Mariusz Stępiński.

N Ireland lineup


  • Michael McGovern
  • Craig Cathcart
  • Jonny Evans
  • Gareth McAuley
  • Conor McLaughlin
  • Paddy McNair
  • Chris Baird
  • Steven Davis
  • Shane Ferguson
  • Oliver Norwood
  • Kyle Lafferty

Substitutes: Roy Carroll, Alan Mannus, Lee Hodson, Aaron Hughes, Luke McCullough, Stuart Dallas, Corry Evans, Will Grigg, Josh Magennis, Niall McGinn, Jamie Ward, Conor Washington.


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