Northern Ireland v Switzerland – 19.45 GMT kickoff
Northern Ireland have home advantage as they look to make their first World Cup appearance since 1986. To qualify, they will need to see off Switzerland- a team who have qualified 4 times in a row.
To finish second in a tough group was a major achievement for Northern Ireland who have really come on a ton in recent years. They were impressive in Euro 2016 and have continued that progression since. They’ve been lucky on the injury front and Michael O’Neil is expected to name an unchanged team.
Vladimir Petkovic will be without the injured defensive stalwart Johan Djourou. Fabian Schar could partner with either Leo Lacroix or Manuel Akanji at the back.
The last time the teams met ended up as a goalless draw in 2004. Prior to that Northern Ireland have won twice and Switzerland once.
Both teams have a solid defence and decent striking force. We would expect both teams to have a go from kick off and test their opponent’s defence.
Northern Ireland v Switzerland- summary
This could go either way on paper. Both teams are more than capable on their day and it would well be a defensive error that decides the result. Whichever team can hold their opponents at bay and stay strong, will come out on top. We think the answer to the puzzle is Switzerland.
F88 prediction: Switzerland to win
Where can I watch Northern Ireland v Switzerland? BT Sport