Arsenal loanee Dan Ballard to miss important Blackpool games following call-up to Northern Ireland squad

Dan Ballard has been called up to the Northern Ireland squad for their upcoming games against Italy, Bulgaria and the USA.

Thursday, 18th March 2021, 11:38 am
Updated Thursday, 18th March 2021, 12:30 pm

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The Arsenal loanee is due to link up with Ian Baraclough's squad following this weekend's trip to Oxford United.

This means the centre-back will miss Blackpool's midweek game against Peterborough United on Tuesday night.

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Northern Ireland face Italy in Parma in their first World Cup qualifier on Thursday, March 25, before taking on USA in a home friendly on Sunday, March 28.

As a result, the 21-year-old will also miss Blackpool's game against Plymouth Arglye on Saturday.

Northern Ireland play their third and final game against Bulgaria in Belfast on Wednesday, March 31.

This could mean Ballard also misses the Good Friday trip to Swindon Town on April 2, although this hasn't been confirmed.

Ballard has already been capped by Northern Ireland five times

If Ballard doesn't feature against Bulgaria and feels fit, he could still be available.

Ballard's call-up comes at an untimely point in Blackpool's season, with fellow centre-backs Marvin Ekpiteta and Daniel Gretarsson currently sidelined.

However, both are said to be making good progress and Gretarsson should return soon, having taken part in full training for the past two weeks.

Elsewhere, the Seasiders still have James Husband and Jordan Thorniley.

Former Seasider Dion Charles, now playing for League One rivals Accrington Stanley, has received his first call-up to the Northern Ireland squad.

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