Northern Ireland’s hopes of qualifying for the European Championships are essentially over following a 4-2 defeat to Slovenia.
The Green and White Army will be looking to resurrect spirits with a positive result away in Kazakhstan – something that is far easier said than done.
Kazakhstan vs Northern Ireland 14:00, Preview:
Following four straight defeats, Northern Ireland could certainly do with a positive result away in Kazakhstan.
Michael O’Neill’s men fell to a 4-2 loss away in Slovenia last Thursday night meaning the Green and White Army have only won two of their last 12 internationals.
Six of those games have seen Northern Ireland lose by a single goal margin – five of them by the 1-0 scoreline.
Clearly, O’Neill’s men aren’t a million miles away from turning those small margins around and start picking up wins.
However, in order for those margins to turn, Northern Ireland will need to find a way of finding the back of the net.
Scoring has not been a problem for Kazakhstan during these ongoing European Championship qualifiers.
The Kazakhs have bagged eight goals in five games – a run which has helped them amass nine points and sit three short of group leaders Finland.
Speaking of the Scandinavian outfit, the Finns ended Kazakhstan’s three-match winning run last Thursday night with a 1-0 victory in Astana.
The Kazakhs still have eyes on qualification, and they will be determined to return to winning ways against Northern Ireland.
Considering the run of form both teams are in, our recommendation is to back the hosts to deliver in front of an expectant crowd.
Kazakhstan to win by a one goal margin is the way to go in this one.