Our prediction for this Nations League match:
Stadiumi Fadil Vokrri in Pristina will host Thursday’s football game between Kosovo and Northern Ireland, who meet for the first time ever on the international stage. The Kosovars kicked off their UEFA Nations League campaign with a 2-0 win over Cyprus, but Greece proved to be a big catch for Vedad Muriqi and Co. To make things even worse for the home side, both Muric and Aliti are banned for the match as the duo was sent off in the loss to Greece.
The Green and White Army, on the other hand, have collected one point in the process to date, and given their difficulties in front of goal, a low-scoring affair is on the horizon in Pristina. There are no fresh injury worries in the away team ahead of Thursday’s clash, but Blackpool forward Shayne Lavery could sneak into the starting XI.
Highlighted Player (Milot Rashica):
Milot Rashica is a Kosovo Albanian player who was born on June 28, 1996 in Vucitrn, FR Yugoslavia. Rashica is a product of FC Vushtrria football academy and he continued playing for the Ferki Aliu Stadium outfit at senior level.
Milot Rashica is a winger, but he is used as an attacking midfielder as well and it has to be noted that his preferred foot is right. Nowadays, the Albanian footballer plays for Vitesse in Dutch Eredivisie and he has established himself as a first-team regular at the club.
Milot Rashica made his Vitesse debut on July 30, 2015, coming as a substitute for Serbia international Uros Djurdjevic in a 3-0 defeat to Southampton in the Europa League qualifiers. Speaking of his Eredivisie debut, Rashica played his first match for Vitesse in the Dutch elite division on August 9, 2015 in a 1-1 draw with Willem II. The Vitesse footballer has six caps for Albania U21 team, but he represents Kosovo at senior level.
Highlighted Team (Northern Ireland):
Competing first under the Irish flag and then as an independent entity, Northern Ireland are one of world’s oldest national teams, but they haven’t enjoyed too much success in history. Led by Danny Blanchflower, the Irish impressed at their first ever World Cup finals appearance, reaching the quarter-finals in 1958, but they have since only played at the 1982 and 1986 tournaments, reaching round 2 and crashing out in the group stage respectively.
Northern Ireland had failed to qualify for 13 successive European Championship finals before finally booking their ticket to the Euro 2016 in France, and the fans hope this success will only be a sign of things to come. Without a doubt, George Best is the most famous footballer to have ever put on the green shirt, scoring 9 goals in 37 appearances, but he couldn’t help the national team close the gap behind Europe’s top sides.
Some of the other high-profile footballers include Pat Jennings, Aaron Hughes, David Healy, Keith Gillespie, Steven Davies and Gareth McAuley.