Sports World

Northern Ireland vs Cyprus Football Match Live Score 12/06/2022

Northern Ireland vs Cyprus Football Match Live Score 12/06/2022

Five games ago, Northern Ireland supporters felt that they had the right man in charge with Ian Baraclough’s side earning a goalless draw with Italy in November.However, collecting just one point from games versus Greece, Cyprus and Kosovo has changed that perception with many, the 3-2 defeat away at the latter bringing calls for Baraclough to depart the role.

Baraclough spoke with justification about a transitional period and newcomers to the squad requiring time, but it will not distract from their efforts in those respective matches.Northern Ireland were initially regarded as contenders to top this group, but Greece’s maximum haul has left the group to focus on trying to retain their third-tier status.

Victory on Saturday would go some way to easing the pressure on Baraclough, but Northern Ireland have scored just once in their last six home fixtures in all competitions.As far as Cyprus are concerned, they will be content with being on level terms with Northern Ireland at this stage, even if they are still awaiting their first goal in the group.

Although they were well beaten by Kosovo and Greece, the goalless draw with Northern Ireland was deemed a huge positive, arguably representing their most notable result for over 15 months.With the pressure on the hosts, Nikos Kostenoglou and his squad will relish the opportunity to try to inflict more misery on their opponents, something which would even be achieved with a draw.

However, you have to go all the way back to October 2019 for the last time that Cyprus prevailed away from home, that triumph coming in Kazakhstan.Having missed out on Thursday, Paddy McNair appears unlikely to recover in time for this contest.

Changes are still expected to be made, however, with Conor Bradley and Dion Charles potential inclusions at right wing-back and in attack.Conor McMenamin could retain his place at left wing-back unless Baraclough opts to use Niall McGinn in that position.

The experienced duo of Konstantinos Laifis and Demetris Christofi could both be drafted back into the Cyprus XI.Sporting Kansas City youngster Marinos Tzionis may also be given an opportunity on the left flank.Northern Ireland possible starting lineup:
Peacock-Farrell; Brown, Ballard, Evans; Bradley, Davis, McCann, Saville, McMenamin; Charles, Lavery

Cyprus possible starting lineup:
Michail; Gogic, Correa, Laifis; Pittas, Artymatas, Kyriakou, Ioannou; Loizou, Christofi, TzionisNorthern Ireland boss Ian Baraclough may be under serious pressure now after three dismal Nations League results, but playing at home to Cyprus is as close to a guaranteed win as it will get for them.

The Green and White Army were calling for Baraclough’s sacking after Thursday’s 3-2 defeat to Kosovo in Pristina, although the Irish FA are likely to give him at least one more chance to get a win on the board. His players owe him a performance on Sunday and, back at Windsor Park, we would expect Northern Ireland to create chances against the woeful Cypriots.

They did create enough to get all three points in Larnaca last week only for Ali McCann to miss the easiest of opportunities late on in a 0-0 draw. Cyprus’ inherent dodgy defending reappeared again on Thursday when they were trounced 3-0 by group leaders Greece in a one-sided affair that was over by half-time.Nikos Kostenoglou’s side have won only two of their last 17 matches across all competitions and have found the net on just four of those occasions. Just as worrying is their failure to stop opponents from scoring multiple times in each match with 36 strikes finding the back of their net in the last 12 games.

So we have to take Norn Iron for the win here and a win to nil must have a real chance of landing, particularly as the strength of Baraclough’s side lies in the centre of defence where experienced Jonny Evans and Arsenal youngster Daniel Ballard should be a sound combination.

But as it’s 6/4 for Northern Ireland to win to nil and around 5/2 for them to win with fewer than three goals in the game we’ll take a chance that the hosts don’t score three for the odds boost, given they have only scored once in their last six at home and not in their last four head-to-head meetings with Cyprus. A 1-0 win looks about the best Baraclough’s men could manage based on those recent and historic stats.

 

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button