Glamour friendly: ROI face Brazil in London, England
The mighty Brazil are in London town for what's being billed as the 'glamour friendly' of this weeks international fixtures. However, the game itself which is set to take place at Arsenal FC's Emirates Stadium, won't see the 'Boys from Brazil' up against England. Instead Giovanni Trappatoni's Republic of Ireland team will be the 'acting hosts' for the night. It's not the first time an English stadium has been used by the Irish for friendly matches, and seems to be an increasing trend which will be no doubt be warmly welcomed amongst the UK's ever-expanding Irish community.
The decision to play the game in London should of course also go down well amongst the following 10 (ten) UK-born contingent in the Republic's squad...
Keiran Westwood (Manchester, England)
Kevin Kilbane (Preston, England)
Kevin Foley (Luton, England)
Sean St Ledger (Birmingham, England)
Marc Wilson (Armagh, NI)
Aiden McGeady (Glasgow, Scotland)
Darron Gibson (Derry, NI)
James McCarthy (Glasgow, Scotland)
Liam Lawrence (Nottingham, England)
Leon Best (Nottingham, England)
Aside from almost half of the Republic's squad, the United Kingdom's other connection to Ireland is of course Northern Ireland. The Green and White Army (the fans) face a truly ugly friendly match in comparison to their Southern cousins. Albania are the opposition, and the capital Tirana can expect a wave of green and white on Wednesday night as Northern Ireland (the team) are in town. It is a game which, no matter how unattractive, is a useful workout for Nigel Worthington's men. A vast improvement in the side's away form is a neccisity ahead of the upcoming Euro 2012 Qualifiers in September.
Both Irish sides face very different tests, but nevertheless, can expect two tough matches. One, against the silky samba skills of Brazil where Aiden McGeady should feel at home. The other, an unknown quantity in Albania - and an unpredictable Northern Ireland on the road.
Albania vs NI is available on BBC red button
ROI vs Brazil is available on Sky Sports
Check this blog's 'Where's the match?' bar widget for more information (along the right-hand side).