Ireland's priority is Monday's Euro 2020 decider with Denmark but that could actually mean that their friendly with New Zealand is more unpredictable than an average Dublin fixture writes Daniel McDonnell.
Republic of Ireland v New Zealand Thursday November 14, 19:45 Live On Sky Sports Football
A form student's nightmare
Thursday's international friendly between Republic of Ireland and New Zealand is a bit of a test for those punters who concentrate on recent form.
Mick McCarthy has promised to reshuffle his entire side with Monday's Euro 2020 decider with Denmark in mind.
Indeed, he has suggested that only one or two players that feature in this match have a realistic prospect of involvement in a game that Ireland must win to qualify for next summer's finals.
Meanwhile, New Zealand are playing their first match in almost a year-and-a-half, a product of their unusual status as the top dog in Oceania which means there are long breaks in the early stage of the World Cup cycle.
When they last played a senior international game, Martin O'Neill was in charge of Ireland and Declan Rice was the next big thing.
A fair bit of water has passed under the bridge since then but McCarthy will use this distraction from the Danish homework to give a debut to a homegrown talent that will almost certainly be around for the long haul.
Tottenham Hotspur teenager Troy Parrott has generated a buzz at club level this term and the 17-year-old made a competitive first team debut against Colchester in September having impressed in high-level pre-season friendlies.
Mauricio Pochettino hasn't had much scope for experimentation since then but Parrott did make the bench for the Premier League clash with Everton in the absence of Harry Kane and that was enough to generate more headlines in Ireland where there is a desperate desire for an Irish player to genuinely break through with a top club.
The central striker has been compared with Robbie Keane, which are big boots to fill in an international context. Parrott has different attributes, as he's regarded as quite big for his age but he also has an ability on the ball that has wowed teammates. He's got an eye for goal but he may not be as predatory as Keane, the Irish assistant coach who has worked with him in training.
McCarthy has confirmed he will start through the middle of a 4-3-3. Robbie Brady, who does have a point to prove with Denmark in mind, likely comes in on the right side. There will also be a debut for Celtic's Lee O'Connor at right full and a first Irish start for Shamrock Rovers midfielder Jack Byrne in the centre of the park. He impressed as a sub in September's win over Bulgaria. The plan was to use Brighton's Aaron Connolly on the left but he misses out through injury. Stoke's James McClean is one of the most durable members of the Ireland squad but it might still be considered a risk to use him. Bristol City's Sean Maguire is a possible contender.