Our prediction for this Nations League match:
Northern Ireland play host to Kosovo at their Windsor Park in what is expected to be an interesting Nations League encounter. The Green and White Army are desperate to record their first win of the process, and they are likely to leave their hearts on the field. Crystal Palace midfielder Kofi Balmer has earned his first Northern Ireland call-up, while all Josh Magennis, Corry Evans, Shane Ferguson, Tom Flanagan, and Conor Hazard return to the squad after missing the last international window.
The Kosovars, on the other hand, aim to make amends for a 2-0 loss to Greece, but seeing that the hosts want this win more than the visitors, we are tempted to put our money on Ian Baraclough’s men this time out. A man to watch in the away team will be Vedad Muriqi, who has netted three goals for Mallorca in La Liga so far this term.
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 (Kosovo):
Despite the fact that a number of countries have yet to recognize Kosovo, they have been participating in the World Cup qualifiers September 5, 2016. Kosovo did well to hold Finland to a 1-1 draw in their opener, but they were outclassed by Croatia (0-6) in their second group game.
Albert Bunjaki’s men have slim chances of qualifying for the showpiece tournament in Russia, but, no doubt, they will use qualifying matches to gain a much-needed experience. Kosovo recorded their biggest win over Monaco on April 22, 2006, but they were not a member of FIFA back then. The Kosovo national football team played their first ever international friendly against Haiti in March 2014 and the match ended in a goalless draw.
Kosovo footballers wear blue shirts and black shorts when playing at home, while they play in yellow shirts and yellow shorts when facing their rivals on the road. Albert Bunjaku, who played for the likes of Nurnberg and Kaiserslautern in the past, is the team’s most notable player.