Nations League: N Ireland vs Austria



Northern Ireland will enter their UEFA Nations League clash with Austria this weekend after nurturing hopes of qualifying for Euro 2020. Ian Baraclough's men beat Bosnia-Herzegovina on Thursday to set up the match. Qualifying playoff finals against Slovakia and will now look to progress. 

Baraclough will certainly look to make defensive changes following his trip to Bosnia, but Jonny Evans's return has been a big boost last time and he should keep his place in this one, but People like Corry Evans and McGinn can make room. Gavin Whyte scored the last-minute goal in Northern Ireland's UEFA Nations League opener and is hoping to be recalled, while Kyle Lafferty is another man vying for the first place at center. Liam Boyce netted the decisive victory for Northern Ireland in Sarajevo after Niall McGinn canceled Rade Krunic's opener in the official 90 minutes. It was a huge victory for them, a victory that helped them hope to qualify for the Euro Final for the second time in a row. Excitement has built up ahead of next month's home clash with Slovakia, but before that Baraclough's players had a few Nations League matches to play with. Northern Ireland did not have the best start to their campaign, having lost 5-1 at home to Norway last month, days after the suffocating draw in Romania. Austria is in a better position in Group B1 ahead of this trip to Windsor Park, where around 600 supporters are expected to attend as coronavirus restrictions ease.

Austria made mass changes to their friendly against Greece on Wednesday and are likely to return to their strongest squad for this one. Grbic didn't get a chance to start this match with his goal in the middle of the week, while Karim Onisiwo will also be hoping he has done enough to make the start. Franco Foda's side won 2-1 away from Norway in their opening match, but suffered a 3-2 home defeat at the hands of Romania a few days later. Adrian Grbic and Christoph Baumgartner scored Austria in the last 13 minutes to turn their head around in Klagenfurt. Burschen will now look to take advantage of Northern Ireland back to their poor home, which has seen them lose 2 and draw 1 of their last 3 matches there, including a shattered defeat at the hands of Na Uy last month. 



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