Evans ruled out of NI opener - while Duffy is goalscoring hero for Republic

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Jonny Evans - missing for personal reasons.

Q Radio Sport

Shane Duffy came to the rescue for new Republic of Ireland manager Stephen Kenny in his first match in charge.

The defender scored an injury time equaliser to earn a 1-1 draw away in Bulgaria in their opening Nations League match.

Kenny says it gives them something to build on:

Northern Ireland are without Jonny Evans for tonight's Nations League clash with Romania.

The Leicester defender is missing the match for personal reasons, but could return for Monday's home game against Norway.

Manager Ian Baraclough will take charge of the team for the first time this evening.

Daniel Ballard - an option to replace Jonny Evans.

Who could replace Jonny Evans in NI defence?

Daniel Ballard - The uncapped Arsenal defender is suddenly the most natural replacement for Evans after the withdrawal of Tom Flanagan. As the previous U21 boss Baraclough knows all about the 20-year-old, who recently featured for Mikel Arteta's side in a friendly at MK Dons.

Paddy McNair - McNair was viewed by Louis van Gaal as a centre back at Manchester United but his preferred position is in midfield. He has been part of a defence at Middlesbrough in recent times, but three goals in his last four away games for Northern Ireland would mean his threat at the other end of the pitch would be badly missed.

Michael Smith - The Hearts full-back has also covered at centre-half and his versatility will no doubt be considered by Baraclough. Scored a stunning long-range effort in Northern Ireland's last outing in November against Germany

Conor McLaughlin - An experienced player at international level, he has been in and out of Michael O'Neill's starting lineup over the years but usually at full-back. Like Smith, he has previously covered as a centre-back but mostly in a back three

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