Nations League: Northern Ireland vs Norway


Northern Ireland hosted Norway on Monday night after starting their UEFA Nations League campaign with a 1-1 draw in Romania. As for Norway, they lost 1-2 quite suddenly at the hands of Austria, making them ranked at the bottom of group B1.

Northern Ireland will be forced to change at least one position with Magennis being suspended for a match. With Conor Washington not having an impact on his own in attack, Whyte and Kyle Lafferty could get a nod in his place. After Josh Magennis was sent off in the first half, things seemed to be in Northern Ireland's favor as they led Romania with more than 50 minutes of negative play. However, aided by outstanding performance by goalkeeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell, they pushed the hosts back against Gavin Whyte's late equalizer. While his side had occasional luck, newly appointed captain Ian Baraclough could be understood to be delighted with the impossible, a result that eased the pressure a bit ahead of the Norwegian reception. Windsor Park. Arguably the weakest team in the group, Baraclough will admit that they face 5 more difficult tests as they try to avoid relegation in Group C, instead of having real faith in winning against their 3 opponents. However, the 49-year-old will still be asking for more from his team, hoping that they can take advantage of Norway's one blow to Austria on Friday.

Sorloth will likely start from the beginning in the Norwegian attack, replacing Joshua King or as part of the three-striker diagram. Martin Linnes and Markus Henriksen are also trying to secure a role in the starting line-up in the midfield. With Erling Braut Haaland included in the starting lineup, Lars Lagerback will be confident that his team can afford to see off their main team opponents at their familiar home field. However, Austria's goals were decisive, making Haaland's first goal just a consolation. Although there are still 5 games left, Lagerback is aware that his team could suffer an additional setback if they want to compete with stronger teams in the next campaign. Faced with opposition, who are not known for their scoring feats.  




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