Northern Ireland host Kosovo in another round of the UEFA Nations League group stage at Windsor Park on Saturday night.
The Norn Iron have not been able to convince in the Nations League so far. However, their last game saw them draw 2-2 with Cyprus, with former Manchester United duo Paddy McNair and Jonny Evans scoring in the final 20 minutes of the game.
Northern Ireland, bottom of their group on just two points so far, are looking to claim their first tournament victory this weekend.
Kosovo have had mixed results in the top continental game, alternating between wins and losses. They were beaten 2-0 by group leaders Greece in their last game and conceded two goals in the second half in an overall stunning performance.
With six points from four games, the guests occupy second place in the group ranking. If they don’t win this weekend, their hopes of promotion will be dashed.
Northern Ireland vs Kosovo head to head
Saturday’s game is just the second meeting between Northern Ireland and Kosovo.
The first-ever clash between the two nations came in June in the reverse clash, which the visitors won 3-2 via a brace from Vedat Muriqi and an intervening goal from Zymer Bytyqi.
Form Guide for Northern Ireland (UEFA Nations League): DLDL
Kosovo Form Guide (UEFA Nations League): LWLW
Northern Ireland vs Kosovo Team News
Sunderland’s Daniel Ballard is currently injured so is missing from the squad. Crystal Palace Under-21 defender Kofi Balmer is the only uncapped player in the squad and is hoping to make his international debut this month.
Hurt: Daniel Ballard
Mërgim Vojvoda and Lille winger Edon Zhegrova are both injured and will not feature for the visitors this weekend. Lirim R. Kastrati is suspended and has been left out of the squad.
Hurt: Mergim Vojvoda, Edon Zhegrova
suspended: Lirim R. Kastrati
Northern Ireland vs. Kosovo Prediction XI
Probable XI for Northern Ireland (4-2-3-1): Bailey Peacock-Farrell (GK); Ciaron Brown, Jonny Evans, Paddy McNair, Conor Bradley; Steven Davis, Corry Evans; Conor McMenamin, Shea Charles, Shayne Lavery; Kyle Lafferty
Kosovo predicted XI (4-3-3): Arijanet Muric (GK); Donat Rrudhani, Mirlind Kryeziu, Amir Rrahmani, Fidan Aliti; Toni Domgjoni, Florent Hadergjonaj; Milot Rashica, Florent Muslija, Zymer Bytyqi; Vedat Muriqi
Northern Ireland vs Kosovo prediction
The Norn Iron have gone five games without a win in all competitions and have failed to score in three of those games. They are without a win in their last four home games and could struggle here.
Kosovo have lost two of their last three games after going unbeaten in the previous four games in all competitions. They are in much better form than their opponents at the weekend and should prevail here.
forecast: Northern Ireland 1-0 Kosovo
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