The 19-year-old Manchester City defender, currently on loan at Leicester, will line up at left-back.
Manager Giovanni Trapattoni has little choice but to ring the changes with his squad having been ravaged by injury.
Darren O'Dea, who is on loan from Celtic at Ipswich, will partner John O'Shea in central defence with Stephen Kelly on the right, while Liam Lawrence, Keith Fahey, Glenn Whelan and Damien Duff will make up the midfield quartet.
Kevin Doyle, who underwent a scan on a broken bone on his hand, will be joined by Shane Long in attack with goalkeeper Shay Given wearing the captain's armband.
Republic of Ireland team v Norway (7.45pm): Given (capt); Kelly, O'Dea, O'Shea, Cunningham; Lawrence, Whelan, Fahey, Duff; Doyle, Long.