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Page last updated at 14:32 GMT, Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Adam Barton and Lee Hodson to make N Ireland debuts

International friendly: Northern Ireland v Morocco
Venue: Windsor Park Date: Wednesday, 17 November Kick-off: 1945 GMT Coverage: Commentary on BBC Radio Ulster medium wave; coverage on BBC Radio 5 live & BBC Sport website; Also live on Sky Sports 2


Preston North End midfielder Adam Barton
Adam Barton will make his senior debut for Northern Ireland

Preston midfielder Adam Barton and Watford defender Lee Hodson will make their Northern Ireland debuts against Morocco in Wednesday's friendly match.

The pair have been selected in manager Nigel Worthington's starting line-up.

Jonathan Tuffey will start in goal, with Ryan McGivern, Aaron Hughes and Jonny Evans completing the defence.

Jonny Gorman, Niall McGinn and Pat McCourt join Barton in midfield while Chris Brunt and Rory Patterson will form the strike partnership.

Andrew Little became the latest player to withdraw from the squad for the game on Tuesday.

The 21-year-old Rangers player is suffering from a sickness virus.

Crusaders defender Colin Coates was drafted into the panel on Monday after a further series of withdrawals.

Aberdeen pair Josh Magennis and Rory McArdle, plus defender McGivern, currently on loan at Walsall, were called up to the squad on Sunday.

Stephen Craigan, Steven Davis, Kyle Lafferty and George McCartney all pulled out of the panel on Sunday because of injuries.

Seven other players had already withdrawn from the original squad.

Preston midfielder Barton, Little, Josh McQuoid, Hodson and Michael O'Connor had previously been brought into the squad.

606: DEBATE
Mine's a pint

In September Blackburn-born Barton pulled out of Nigel Worthington's squad for Euro 2012 games because he wanted to remain eligible for England.

The 19-year-old could play for Northern Ireland in a friendly and still be able to switch to England in the future.

However, there is still no place for record scorer David Healy, despite the loss of Oldham front man Feeney.

The Sunderland striker recently joined Doncaster Rovers on a month's loan and has scored two goals in two matches for the Championship side.

The 31-year-old has been involved in every Northern Ireland squad, when available, since his debut in 2000.

Worthington hopes to blood fresh talent against Morocco

He has won 84 caps and scored 35 goals, but has no goals in the last two years.

Striker Feeney has a back injury while Ipswich defender Gareth McAuley is ruled out by an Achilles problem.

Maik Taylor is out with a shoulder injury, Chris Baird has a torn thigh muscle and Corry Evans has an ongoing hamstring complaint.

Sammy Clingan sustained a knee ligament injury last week and he will be ruled out for four to six weeks, while Grant McCann is absent as his club Peterborough have an FA Cup replay on Tuesday.

"The fortunate thing is that these injuries have happened before a friendly and not a European qualifier," said Worthington.

"It will also give someone else a chance to come in and try to impress.

"The game will give me the chance to look at different options ahead of next year's games in the Carling Nations Cup and the qualifiers.

"Morocco will be a great test for us. They have a lot of quality, including Arsenal's Marouane Chamakh.

"He scored twice against Wolves this week so he is a big threat."


Northern Ireland: Tuffey, Hodson, McGivern, Hughes, Evans, Barton, Gorman, McGinn, McCourt, Brunt, Patterson.

Subs: Blayney, Coates, O'Connor, McQuoid, Magennis, McArdle.



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see also
McQuoid shocked by N Ireland call
15 Nov 10 |  Bournemouth
Feeney and McAuley out of NI game
11 Nov 10 |  Football
Healy left out of N Ireland squad
08 Nov 10 |  Football
N Ireland hit by Barton pull-out
29 Sep 10 |  Irish
BBC Sport NI coverage
05 Aug 11 |  Northern Ireland


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