Northern Ireland – Kosovo Predictions
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Northern Ireland 2-1 Kosovo
Date: 24.09.2022 | Match at: 17:00 | League: UEFA NATIONS LEAGUE – LEAGUE C – ROUND 5 | Tip: Over 1.5 Goals | Odds: 1.41 | Bookie: Unibet.
Northern Ireland – Kosovo PREVIEW
- A nervous conclusion awaits Northern Ireland in the 2022/23 UEFA Nations League (UNL), after a winless run in Group C2 (D2, L2) has them fighting to avoid the Play Out match. That’s unless they can pick up a positive result here against Kosovo, which will at a minimum likely put Ian Baraclough’s men in charge of their own destiny going into the final matchday, although they did lose the reverse fixture 3-2.
- Despite being the bookies’ favourite here, maybe only a brave soul would put their money on the Norn Irons considering they’re one of just three teams to have never won a UNL match (D4, L10), alongside Iceland and San Marino. Add to that winning only one of their last 14 home matches (D6, L7) and you’d imagine there’ll be plenty of supporters at Windsor Park nervously biting their nails.
- Kosovo can count themselves pretty much safe, having won half their matches this UNL campaign (L2), meaning any positive result against Northern Ireland or Cyprus in their last match will see them retain their League C status. A big determining factor will be their defensive efforts, as keeping only two clean sheets in their last 12 matches has made picking up consistent results difficult (W3, D3, L6).
- The Dardanians have seen a mixed bag of results on their travels in 2022 (W1, D1, L1), going down 2-0 to group leaders Greece in their last away outing. Manager Alain Giresse will hope that isn’t the catalyst for worse things to come, as Kosovo won only one of their last 12 away matches prior to this year (D3, L8).
- Key battle: Northern Ireland defender and stalwart Jonny Evans could earn his 99th cap here, and scored a stoppage-time equaliser last time out for his country. He’ll have his hands full with Kosovo’s top goalscorer Vedat Muriqi, who’s scored his country’s opener in all of his last five international goalscoring outings.
- Hot stat: Northern Ireland have gone scoreless in the first half in 12 of their last 14 home matches.
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