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WC Qualification Europe

  • November 15, 2012
  • • 03:45
  • • Windsor Park, Belfast
  • Referee: V. Shvetsov
  • • Attendance: 12327
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Northern Ireland - Azerbaijan Preview: Michael O'Neill's men look to build on Portugal point

Northern Ireland - Azerbaijan Preview: Michael O'Neill's men look to build on Portugal point

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The Green and White army picked up an incredible result against Ronaldo & Co last month but must stay grounded for key clash against one of Group F's whipping boys

  PROBABLE LINEUPS

NORTHERN IRELAND
Northern Ireland
Carroll
Hughes, Cathcart, McAuley, McGivern

Davis, C Evans, Baird, Brunt
Healy, Lafferty

AZERBAIJAN
  Azerbaijan
Agayev,
Abisov, Levin, Sukurov, Medvedev

Mamadov, Sadigov, Certoqanov, Huseynov
Aliyev, Nadirov


Peterborough midfielder Grant McCann has withdrawn from the squad for personal reasons. The 32-year-old's wife is set to give birth and he has returned home, ruling himself out of Wednesday's key clash.

McCann is the fifth player to drop out of Michael O'Neill's original 24-man squad after injuries to Manchester United defender Jonny Evans (groin), Hull City's Alex Bruce (knee) and forwards Andy Little (foot) and Jamie Ward (hamstring).

O'Neill responded to Ward's departure by calling up uncapped Inverness striker Billy McKay and has also added Liverpool prodigy Ryan McLaughlin and Burnley full-back Danny Lafferty to the squad.

West Brom centre-half Gareth McAuley returns from suspension while Chris Brunt and Shane Ferguson return from injury.

Meanwhile, Berti Vogts, Azerbaijan’s German head coach, has included no fewer than five uncapped players in his squad for Belfast.

  DID YOU KNOW?
  • Niall McGinn scored his first goal for Northern Ireland at the 19th attempt, when they held Portugal to a 1-1 draw last month.
  • McGinn (pictured right) has started only nine games, with his other 10 caps earned off the bench. The Donaghmore-born midfielder has also been an unused substitute on a further six occasions.
  • The draw in Porto was Northern Ireland’s 100th stalemate in competitive matches.
  • Out of a total of 466 competitive games, the Green and White Army have won 116 and lost 250, scoring 503 goals and conceding 952.
  • Azerbaijan head coach Berti Vogts took charge of 102 German international games and won 66, a success rate of almost 65 per cent.
  • The two sides have faced each other just twice, the first meeting in 2004 was a 0-0 draw, while Northern Ireland won their second encounter, in September 2005, 2-0.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Northern Ireland

Azerbaijan

Wins
1
2
1
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Northern Ireland NIR
Northern Ireland Northern Ireland
Draw
Azerbaijan AZE
Azerbaijan Azerbaijan
29%
57%

Top 3 Predictions

Northern Ireland NIR
0 - 1
Azerbaijan AZE
Northern Ireland NIR
2 - 6
Azerbaijan AZE
Northern Ireland NIR
2 - 0
Azerbaijan AZE

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