Sep 6, 2013 at 7.45pm UK at ​Windsor Park
Northern Ireland
2-4
Portugal
McAuley (36'), Ward (52')
Davis (32'), Carroll (61'), Norwood (82')
Brunt (60'), Lafferty (80')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Alves (20'), Ronaldo (68', 77', 83')
Coentrão (0'), Pepe (7'), Ronaldo (43')
Postiga (43')

Preview: Northern Ireland vs. Portugal

Sports Mole previews Friday's World Cup qualifier between Northern Ireland and Portugal.

Portugal will attempt to strengthen their grip on top spot in Group F when they travel to Northern Ireland for their World Cup qualification clash on Friday.

The home side currently occupy fourth spot in the table having won one of their six matches in Group F, while they sit five points behind third-place Israel with four matches remaining.

Portugal, meanwhile, sit top of the group with 14 points, but they have played one game more than Russia, who sit two points adrift in second.

Northern Ireland will enter the match full of confidence after overcoming Russia last time out, while they also took a point from Portugal in the reverse match in October of last year.

The home side will be without Blackpool defender Craig Cathcart, but boss Michael O'Neill has called Josh Magennis and Kilmarnock defender Rory McKeown into his squad.

Manchester United defender Jonny Evans could also start despite missing the beginning of the season for his club, but Fulham defender Aaron Hughes is a doubt.

Portugal, meanwhile, will once more be led by Cristiano Ronaldo. Former Manchester United teammate Nani should also start after recently returning from a long-term injury, while Helder Postiga is in line to win his 63rd cap.

Recent form:

N Ireland: DDDLW

Portugal: DWWWD

Possible lineups:

N Ireland: Carroll; C Evans, J Evans, McAuley, Bruce; Davis, Brunt, Norwood, McGinn; Lafferty, Paterson

Portugal: Eduardo; Pereira, Alves, Pepe, Coentrao; Moutinho, Meireles, Veloso; Ronaldo, Postiga, Nani

Sports Mole says: 0-2

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Russia manager Fabio Capello during a training session on June 6, 2013
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