Euro 2024 qualifying action continues this weekend, as Northern Ireland travel to the Astana Arena to lock horns with Kazakhstan on Sunday afternoon (14.00)
Northern Ireland are aiming to end a four game-losing streak here, and trail this weekend’s opponents by six points in Group H. Kazakhstan, meanwhile, are just one point shy of the top two.
Abat Aymbetov looks set to lead the line for the hosts here, after bagging twice in his last three international appearances.
Igor Shatsky will retain his place between the sticks, while Marat Bystrov, Aleksandr Marochkin and Nuraly Alip are expected to continue in the defence.
As for Northern Ireland, Jonny Evans and Paddy McNair will continue to make up the heart of the defence, while Dion Charles is expected to keep his place up front.
George Saville and Isaac Price will keep their place in the engine room, Conor McMenamin and Matty Kennedy will be deployed on the flanks.
Kazakhstan to win @ 21/10
Northern Ireland have a tough test on their hands here to keep their qualification hopes alive, as Kazakhstan have won three of their last four games.
Despite their defeat to Finland, Kazakhstan are a strong unit at home, defeating Denmark, Slovakia, Belarus and Azerbaijan in the past year.
Michael O’Neill’s side started the qualification process brightly with a comfortable 2-0 win over San Marino, however, since then, the Green and White Army have been far from their best, losing four games in a row.
I’m backing a home win here, and 21/10 is decent value, in my opinion.
Conor McMenamin to score anytime @ 3/1
The St Mirren man looked lively against Slovenia, setting up Isaac Price’s equaliser and I think he’s a decent option for anytime goalscorer in this game.
Although he’s yet to get off the mark for St Mirren, McMenamin has scored plenty of goals for Glentoran and Cliftonville, and was even singled out for praise by O’Neill in the midweek defeat.
McMenamin will be one of the first names on team sheet for Sunday’s qualifier, and O’Neill will be hoping his tricky winger can deliver.