Mar 29, 2015 at 5pm UK at ​Windsor Park
Northern Ireland
2-1
Finland
Lafferty (33', 38')
Baird (63'), Brunt (67')
FT(HT: 2-0)
Sadik (91')
Pohjanpalo (70'), Arajuuri (79')

Preview: Northern Ireland vs. Finland

Preview: Northern Ireland vs. Finland
© Getty Images
Sports Mole previews the Euro 2016 qualifying contest between Northern Ireland and Finland.

Northern Ireland head into their Euro 2016 qualifier with Finland looking to halt a run of two successive defeats.

Their friendly loss to Scotland in midweek followed a setback in Romania in qualifying, but despite that blow, they remain in second place in their group.

Michael O'Neill's team won their opening three fixtures, and another three points over Finland would put them in a strong position to guarantee a minimum of a playoff place.

The majority of the squad that began the Scotland defeat on the bench should be recalled, with Roy Carroll, Gareth McAuley, Steven Davis, Chris Brunt and Kyle Lafferty all likely to feature.

Lafferty has netted three goals in qualifying so far, and O'Neill will be counting on the 27-year-old to extend his tally against Mixu Paatelainen's side.

Back-to-back defeats against Romania and Hungary have left Finland adrift of the top two, and a loss in Belfast would result in an eight-point deficit to their hosts.

The Scandinavian team hit back with a win over Sweden in a friendly, but they need a repeat performance or else their hopes of qualification will slip further away.

Their attack on Sunday is expected to be headed by striker Teemu Pukki, who is currently playing for Brondby after penning a loan deal from Celtic.

Northern Ireland:

Form in Euro 2016 qualifying: WWWL
Form in all competitions: LWWWLL

Possible starting lineup: Carroll; McLaughlin, Evans, McAuley, Baird, Dallas, Brunt, Norwood, Davis, McGinn, Lafferty

Finland:

Form in Euro 2016 qualifying: WDLL
Form in all competitions: DLLLWD

Possible starting lineup: Hradecky, Moisander, Toivio, Raitala, Uronen, Eremenko, Sparv, Ring, Hamalainen, Hetemaj, Pukki

Sports Mole says: 1-1

Who will win the Euro 2016 qualifier between Northern Ireland and Finland?

Northern Ireland
Draw
Finland
Northern Ireland
58.7%
Draw
20.6%
Finland
20.6%
Ben Reeves of MK Dons in action during the FA Cup Second Round match between MK Dons and Chesterfield at Stadium mk on January 2, 2015
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