Greg Cunningham has joined up with the Republic of Ireland squad after being selected for the games with Paraguay and Algeria next week.
Cunningham was left out of the recent training camp Ireland held, but remained in the manager’s thoughts and the 19-year-old full-back will now be hoping to impress boss Giovanni Trapattoni.
If he plays against Paraguay on Tuesday, he could come face-to-face with one of his City team-mates in the shape of Roque Santa Cruz.
Academy graduate Cunningham, who made two appearances for the Blues last season, was in the Ireland squad for the match with Brazil earlier this year, but didn’t take part.
The Irish lost that game thanks to a terrific goal from City’s Robinho, but the upcoming friendlies will be a perfect opportunity for him to win his first cap.
“I don’t want to jump the gun or anything like that, but I’ve got to admit it would be great if I could play against Roque in the Paraguay game,” said Cunningham.
“Both Paraguay and Algeria are off to the World Cup so neither game will be easy.
You want to test yourself against the best and it would be brilliant to play for my country and line up against Roque
“We’ve played together a couple of times and I’ve been up against him a few times in training
“If the time comes and I know I’m in the squad, I think there will be a bit of text banter flying back and forward between Roque and myself, all good-natured, of course!
“But as I say, we’ll see how it goes and all I can do is work hard and try and impress the manager and see where it takes me.”