Preview: Greece vs Northern Ireland – predictions, team news, rosters

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Sports Mole preview Tuesday’s Nations League clash between Greece and Northern Ireland, including predictions, team news and possible line-ups.

North Ireland sweat on their League C status ahead of their trip to Greece in the UEFA Nations League tuesday.

The hosts have already secured promotion to League B after winning their first four matches of the current campaign.


Match Preview

© Reuters

Indeed, having missed out on promotion from League C in each of the last two Nations League campaigns, Greece will finally feel ready to compete at a level more worthy of their talent and pedigree on the European stage.

The Euro 2004 winners left with a point to prove this time around, winning each of their first four games without conceding a single goal before losing 1-0 at nearby Cyprus on Saturday.

Gus PoyetThe team dominated proceedings with 71 per cent possession, but they struggled to turn long spells on the ball into meaningful chances as Marinos TzionisThe 18th minute goal proved to be the difference on the day.

Northern Ireland’s win over Kosovo meant the loss was gratuitous as their six-point lead over the Kosovars is unassailable with just one game left.

Northern Irishmen Ciaron Brown, Paddy McNair, Dion Charles and Shayne Lavery react after the match on March 29, 2022© Reuters

Ian BarracloughThe team’s first victory of the current Nations League campaign came under the most dramatic of circumstances, with Josh Magennis scoring an added time winner to turn the game around.

Vedat Muriqi seemed to have kept Kosovo’s hopes of dominating the group alive as they broke the deadlock in the 58th minute, but Gavin Whyte equalized 25 minutes later before Magennis’ late effort kept Northern Ireland’s fate in their hands ahead of their trip to Greece on Tuesday.

However, Cyprus’ victory over Greece means the Green and White Army remain level on points with the Cypriots and one point behind Kosovo heading into the final day. With these two nations meeting on Tuesday, Northern Ireland must equal or better Cyprus’ result to guarantee survival.

After ending a five-match winless streak, they will be confident of at least avoiding defeat in Athens against a side with very little to play for beyond personal pride.

Form of Nations League Greece:

Form Greece (all competitions):

Northern Ireland Nations League Form:

Form of Northern Ireland (all competitions):


Team News

Greek coach Gus Poyet on September 24, 2022© Reuters

Greece will host Petros Mantalos and Georgios Giakoumakis back in their squad after the pair served a one-game suspension in the loss to Cyprus.

Dinos Koulierakis hopes to make his international debut at some point after being an unused substitute at Larnaca.

Northern Ireland, meanwhile, remains without Stuart Dallas due to a knee injury.

Whyte is pushing for a start after scoring a crucial equalizer from the bench against Kosovo, but Baraclough could look to add another defender or midfielder to his starting XI to make his side harder to beat, with Shane Ferguson potentially receive the green light.

Possible starting line-up for Greece:
Vlachodimos; Baldock, Mavropanos, Hatzidiakos, Tsimikas; Mantalos, Siopis, Kourbelis; Bakasetas, Giakoumakis, Masouras

Possible starting line-up for Northern Ireland:
Peacock-Farrell; McNair, Evans, Flanagan, Lewis; Bradley, Davis, Evans, Saville, Ferguson; Magennis


SM words green background

We say: Greece 1-1 Northern Ireland

We expect Northern Ireland to dig in and make life very difficult for Greece, who looked like a side following the steps of their loss to Cyprus at the weekend.

One point will likely be enough to see the visitors survive in League C, so Baraclough can set up his side to try and avoid defeat first and foremost.

For a data analysis of the most likely outcomes, scores and more for this match, please click here.


Trick

Our expert forecasting partners at Sportita.com predict less than 3.5 goals in this game. Click here to find out what else they predict for this game and for more of their proven football tips.Under 3.5: data


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