Chris Brunt is back for Northern Ireland World Cup qualifiers

Chris Brunt returns to the Northern Ireland squad

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Chris Brunt returns from suspension to take his place in the Northern Ireland squad for next month's World Cup qualifiers against Portugal and Luxembourg.

The West Brom midfielder missed the side's 1-0 win over Russia at Windsor Park - manager Michael O'Neill's first victory in the job - after picking up two yellow cards in the campaign.

All of the players who featured in that match return for the double header, with Portugal coming to Belfast on September 6 and Northern Ireland away to Luxembourg four days later.

Manchester United's Jonny Evans, who was a late withdrawal on the evening of the Russia match due to illness, is in the squad along with Palermo striker Kyle Lafferty, who was ruled out of that game with an Achilles injury.

Chris Baird misses out once again having yet to sign for a club since his release by Fulham, while Paddy McCourt is also absent having yet to play since joining Barnsley.

Grant McCann, the Peterborough midfielder, has taken a voluntary break from international football to concentrate on his coaching commitments at his club.

Burnley defender Daniel Lafferty has been named in the squad but is suspended for the oening clash against Portugal.

Squad: Carroll, McGovern, Hughes, McGivern, Cathcart, McAuley, Evans, Bruce, Hodson, Daniel Lafferty, Davis, Norwood, McGinn, Ferguson, Corry Evans, Brunt, O'Connor, Kyle Lafferty, Grigg, McKay, Paterson, Ward.