Our prediction for this Nations League match:
Windsor Park in Belfast will host Sunday’s Nations League game between Northern Ireland and Cyprus, the two teams who have been struggling in Group 2. Northern Ireland aim to make amends for a 3-2 loss to Kosovo, with the team eyeing their first win of the process, and they are surely capable of matching Cyprus in front of home fans.
Blackpool forward Shayne Lavery should keep his place in the starting XI after finding the net in the last group game, while Kyle Lafferty could be given a rest against Cyprus. The visitors, on the other hand, experienced all sorts of problems at the back in a 3-0 loss to Greece, which is probably the main reason why we are going to put our money on the Green and White Army. There are no fresh injury worries in the away side ahead of the trip to Belfast.
Highlighted Player (Jonny Evans):
Originating from Belfast, Jonny Evans is one of the most famous football players from the new generation of the Northern Ireland national team, although numerous injuries prevented the centre-back from showing all he’s got.
Coming through the famous Manchester United youth academy, Evans was promoted to the senior set up by club icon Sir Alex Ferguson and he would go on to lift four Premier League trophies with the Red Devils, making over 130 league appearances for the club before moving to West Bromwich Albion in 2015. During his time at Old Trafford, the defender usually played back up to Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand, but made quite a few appearances in important games, including 31 Champions League outings.
As soon as he was given a chance to impress at Manchester United, Evans was called to the Northern Ireland national team and he has made over 40 appearances on international stage since 2006, helping his country qualify for the Euro 2016 finals.
Highlighted Team (Cyprus):
Cyprus’ first match took place back in July, 1949, only one year after they became a member of FIFA. The Cypriotes played out a thrilling 3-3 draw with Maccabi Tel Aviv and seven days later they played their first international game. Cyprus suffered a 3-1 loss to Israel in Tel Aviv back then and in November, 1960 they had their first official match as an independent country.
The Cyprus national football team shared the spoils with Israel in the 1962 World Cup qualifier and three years later they recorded their first international win (3-1 over Greece). Cyprus suffered their biggest loss on May 21, 1969, with the team losing to West Germany 12-0 and in 2000 they hammered Andorra 5-0 which is considered the team’s biggest win.
The Cypriotes have yet to qualify for the finals of the FIFA World Cup or the European Championship, but their victory over Bosnia in Zenica in the Euro 2016 qualifiers will be remembered. GSP Stadium in Nicosia is considered the national team’s home ground.