Northern Ireland U21 v Finland U21: Ballymena game live on BBC Sport NI website

Shayne Lavery (right) battles with Norway's Jonas Svensson in last month's senior friendly
Shayne Lavery (right) is in the Northern Ireland Under-21 squad after featuring for the senior side in last month’s defeat by Norway
Venue: Ballymena Showgrounds Date: Friday 9 October Kick-off: 18:00 BST
Coverage: Live on the BBC Sport NI website

Northern Ireland Under-21s will aim for only their second win of the current European Championship qualifying campaign when they host Finland at the Ballymena Showgrounds on Friday night.

Friday’s match will be live on the BBC Sport Northern Ireland website.

Last month’s 2-0 away victory in Malta was Northern Ireland’s sole win in seven Group Eight qualifiers to date.

That was followed by a 1-0 home defeat by leaders Denmark – which was third loss of the campaign for the Irish.

Northern Ireland’s tally of six points leaves only Malta below them in the campaign as they sit 13 behind the Danes.

Caretaker manager Andy Crosby includes Linfield’s Shayne Lavery, Barrow full-back Bobby Burns, now on loan at Glentoran, and Livingston defender Ciaron Brown, who have all been part of Northern Ireland senior squads.

Watford midfielder JJ McKiernan, QPR midfielder Amrit Bansal-McNulty – who is on loan with Serie C side Como – and Brighton forward Ben Wilson have earned first call-ups.

Portadown striker Lee Bonis and Cliftonville and Linfield defenders Aaron Donnelly and Ross Larkin are retained in their squad after having their first involvement with the under-21s last month.

Northern Ireland will face second-placed Ukraine in Ballymena on Tuesday in another game that will be live on the BBC Sport Northern Ireland website.

Northern Ireland Under-21 squad

Goalkeepers: Conor Hazard (Celtic), Nathan Gartside (Derry City)

Defenders: Eoin Toal (Derry City), Caolan Marron (Glentoran), Ciaron Brown (Livingston), Kofi Balmer (Ballymena United), Jack Scott (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Daniel Amos (Doncaster Rovers), Ross Larkin (Linfield), Aaron Donnelly (Cliftonville), Nathan Kerr (Portadown)

Midfielders: Alfie McCalmont (Leeds United – on loan at Oldham Athletic), Caolan Boyd-Munce (Birmingham City), JJ McKiernan (Watford), Jake Dunwoody (Derry City), Ethan Galbraith (Manchester United), Amrit Bansal-McNulty (QPR – on loan at Como in Italy), Bobby Burns (Barrow – on loan at Glentoran)

Forwards: Shayne Lavery (Linfield), David Parkhouse (Sheffield United – on loan at Hartlepool United), Paul O’Neill (Glentoran), Lee Bonis (Portadown), Ben Wilson (Brighton & Hove Albion)

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