MX23RW : Friday, January 18 08:17:10

Preview: Cyprus vs. Northern Ireland

Sports Mole looks ahead to Wednesday's friendly between Cyprus and Northern Ireland.

Pambos Christodoulou will take charge of Cyprus for the first time when they play host to Northern Ireland on Wednesday evening.

Having finished bottom of their World Cup qualification group, Christodoulou has selected a handful of new players, including Andreas Makris, Giorgos Loizou and Georgios Aresti. Experienced striker Andreas Papathanasiou has also been named in the squad for the first time since 2010.

Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill has also been experimental with his selection, having picked MK Dons midfielder Ben Reeves and Dundee United's Paul Paton for the first time.

However, O'Neill will be without the experienced defensive trio of Jonny Evans, Aaron Hughes and Chris Baird.

Norn Iron have met Cyprus on five previous occasions, winning three matches and losing just once.

Recent form

Cyprus: DLLLLD

Northern Ireland: WLLLDL

Possible starting lineups

Cyprus: Georgallides; Junior, Charalambous, Nikolaou, Laban; Efrem, Demetriou, Vasiliou, Alexandrou; Mitidis, Soteriou

Northern Ireland: Carroll; McGivern, McAuley, Bruce, Cathcart; Davis, Brunt, Shiels, Ferguson; Lafferty, Ward

Sports Mole says: 1-0

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Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill on the touchline during the World Cup qualifier against Portugal on September 6, 2013
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