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Wales to face Northern Ireland and Portugal in April friendlies

As part of preparations for the new UEFA Nations League campaign, Wales will play friendlies against Northern Ireland and Portugal in April.

Gemma Grainger’s team host Northern Ireland at the Cardiff City Stadium on Thursday, 6 April.

Wales will then face World Cup-headed Portugal on Tuesday, 11 April in Guimaraes for the other game. The Portuguese team secured their World Cup place in the play-off final, of which Wales marginally missed out on.

Wales completed their Pinatar Cup campaign, where they remained undefeated in three games, but ultimately secured the second position behind Iceland.

During their stint in Spain, Gemma Grainger’s team only conceded a solitary goal, having also played against the Philippines and Scotland.

Wales encountered Northern Ireland in their previous Euro 2022 qualifying games, both of which ended in draws. Despite this, Northern Ireland managed to secure a place in the playoffs and ultimately advanced to the finals.

The upcoming match will be Northern Ireland’s first since Kenny Shiels’ departure as their manager at the end of January. The Irish FA has confirmed that the process of appointing a new manager is currently underway.

In the Euro 2022 qualifying, Northern Ireland clinched the top spot ahead of Wales based on the head-to-head away goals rule.

Initially, the Racecourse Ground was under consideration as a potential venue for the friendly match scheduled in April. However, due to Wrexham’s backlog of home fixtures resulting from their FA Cup run and postponed matches, the match will now be held in the Welsh capital.

The upcoming game between Wales and Portugal will mark their first encounter since 2018 when they played to a goalless draw in Almada.

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