In recognition of his form this season, Martin O’Neill has revealed that Newcastle’s Rob Elliot will share the goalkeeping duties with West Ham’s Darren Randolph.
Despite playing for a team who only Aston Villa have conceded more than, Elliot has won many plaudits as the Newcastle defence has struggled all season.
On Sunday, Rob Elliot kept United in the game and this led to Aleksandar Mitrovic’ goal being an equaliser, rather than a mere consolation.
At his Wednesday press conference, Martin O’Neill said that Elliot and Randolph will each play in one of the friendlies in the next few days – the Republic of Ireland facing Switzerland tomorrow (Friday) and Slovakia on Tuesday.
Whilst the West Ham keeper is still seen as the favourite to start in the Euros in June, this is a golden opportunity for Rob Elliot to impress and at the very least mark himself down as the number two.
A big advantage for Elliot is that he is playing week in week out, whilst Randolph has only started three Premier League games, though he has been first choice in cup games for the Hammers.
Elsewhere in the international friendlies, Serbia lost 1-0 to Poland on Wednesday night, though Aleksandar Mitrovic remained on the bench as an unused sub.
An interesting match on Friday could see Gini Wijnaldum and Moussa Sissoko face each other, with France hosting Holland.