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  1. ITV Report

NI’s McAuley back for Germany and Norway games

Gareth McAuley returns to the NI squad for their upcoming qualifiers. Credit: INPHO

Northern Ireland will welcome West Brom defender Gareth McAuley back into the squad for upcoming World Cup qualifiers with Germany and Norway.

The 37-year-old Larne man missed last month’s wins over San Marino and the Czech Republic due to a thigh injury.

McAuley returns to an NI defensive unit that has kept seven clean sheets in eight qualifiers – more than any other European nation.

Michael O’Neill also calls up Jordan Jones and George Saville, who could both be in line to make their first appearances.

Craig Cathcart, Paddy McNair and Jamie Ward miss out through injury, while striker Will Grigg is also left out.

Northern Ireland host world champions Germany on 5 October before concluding their group campaign against Norway in Oslo three days later.

O’Neill’s men have guaranteed themselves at least second place in Group C and look primed to claim one of the eight play-off berths on offer, with a two-legged tie in November standing between those countries and a place in Russia next summer.

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