MX23RW : Sunday, July 25 05:52:15| >> :600:4021706:4021706:
Nov 15, 2020 at 7.45pm UK at Ernst-Happel-Stadion
Northern IrelandNorthern Ireland
Schaub (81'), Grbic (87')
Dragovic (10'), Sabitzer (90+4')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Magennis (75')
Boyce (25')

Preview: Austria vs. Northern Ireland - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Nations League clash between Austria and Northern Ireland, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Austria square off against Northern Ireland in the UEFA Nations League on Sunday evening knowing that victory would leave them on the brink of promotion to League A.

As for Northern Ireland, Ian Baraclough's side realistically need all three points if they are to retain hope of avoiding relegation to League C.

Match preview

Northern Ireland manager Ian Baraclough pictured on September 7, 2020© Reuters

Despite a difficult opening as manager of Northern Ireland, Baraclough would have had high hopes that his under-performing side could find a spark against Slovakia in their Euro 2020 playoff tie on Thursday evening.

Although the Green and White Army rallied during the closing stages of the contest in Belfast, their efforts were undone by a lack of a ruthless streak in the final third.

That is something which has been present in this team for some time, and Michal Duris's goal in extra time has left Baraclough and this squad facing an uphill task to remain among a group of mid-range nations.

Already sitting three points adrift at the bottom of League B Group 1, Northern Ireland need a positive result in Vienna to ensure that they have something to play for when hosting Romania next week.

If Wednesday's opponents succumb to Norway at the weekend, Baraclough's side will earn themselves a lifeline, arguably on both a short and long-term basis, if they win at Windsor Park.

Nevertheless, their priority must be on trying to upstage an Austria side who have responded brilliantly to their shock defeat at home to Romania in September.

Franco Foda has watched Unsere Burschen register four victories in succession, as well as going almost 300 minutes without conceding a goal.

A home fixture against goal-shy opponents is the perfect encounter as they bid to move closer to promotion, but Foda will also have reservations about their own efforts in the final third.

All but one of their last eight goals have been scored in the second half, a statistic which will need to change ahead of their appearance at Euro 2020 next year.

Austria Nations League form: WLWW
Austria form (all competitions): WLWWWW

Northern Ireland Nations League form: DLLL
Northern Ireland form (all competitions): DLDLLL

Team News

Steven Davis in action for Northern Ireland on September 11, 2018© Reuters

After going to extra time on Thursday night, Baraclough is likely to make a number of changes to his side.

George Saville, Jordan Thompson and Niall McGinn have all been ruled out of the contest, but Craig Cathcart has been passed fit.

Steven Davis could be rested ahead of the Romania match, while Gavin Whyte is expected to come into the starting lineup.

Marcel Sabitzer may be recalled to the Austria XI after missing out against Romania last month.

Forward Marko Arnautovic is expected to be named among the replacements.

Austria possible starting lineup:
Pervan; Lainer, Dragovic, Hinteregger, Alaba; Sabitzer, Ilsanker, Baumgartlinger, Baumgartner; Gregoritsch, Schlager

Northern Ireland possible starting lineup:
Peacock-Farrell; Dallas, Cathcart, Evans, Lewis; Whyte, McNair, Galbraith,Jones; Boyce, Magennis

SM words green background

We say: Austria 2-0 Northern Ireland

On the back of Thursday night's disappointment, this is an unwanted test for Northern Ireland. While Baraclough's side will go out with the best of intentions, it is difficult to see them making much of an impact against their in-form and motivated hosts.

Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

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Northern Ireland manager Ian Baraclough pictured on September 7, 2020
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Sunday's key events

· Wave conditions permitting, surfing will make its Olympic debut (11pm-8.20am)

· Another debutant sport at this Olympics, most eyes will be on American Nyjah Huston in the men's street contest as he looks to add Olympic gold to his four world titles and 12 X-Games golds. (12.30am-5am)

· History beckons for Jade Jones as she looks to become a three-time Olympic champion - something never done before in the sport prior to these Games (2am-1.45pm)
· Team GB's Bradly Sinden - world champion two years ago - is also going for gold in the men's -68kg category (2am-1.45pm)

· Already-legendary gymnast Simone Biles makes her first appearance of the Games in the women's qualifying event (2am-2pm)

· The first swimming medals of the Games will be dished out, with home favourite Daiya Seto going for gold in the men's 400m individual medley (2.30am-4.20am)

· Lizzie Deignan is among the Team GB team looking for success in the women's road race (5am-9.30am)

· Reigning two-time Olympic champion Andy Murray starts his title defence against Canadian hotshot Felix Auger-Aliassime (7am approx.)

> Today's schedule in full
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Taca da Liga
Scottish League Cup
Pre-Season Friendlies
Belgian Pro League
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Russian Premier League
Ukrainian Premier League
Swedish Allsvenskan
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