N Ireland v Luxembourg preview
Northern Ireland have the chance to get their World Cup qualifying campaign up and running when they entertain Luxembourg.
Last Updated: 11/09/12 11:03am
Northern Ireland have the chance to get their World Cup qualifying campaign up and running when they entertain Luxembourg on Tuesday night.
Michael O'Neill's men faced a tough trip to Russia in Friday's Group F opener and lost 2-0 courtesy of goals from Viktor Fayzulin and Roman Shirokov.
Shirokov scored from the penalty spot and O'Neill was left nursing a sense of injustice as he felt the decision to award a spot-kick against Craig Cathcart was harsh.
Attention has now turned to the visit of Luxembourg to Windsor Park, and Northern Ireland will be relying on their home form to keep them in contention for qualification.
O'Neill could therefore decide to name a more attacking line-up, with the fit-again Shane Ferguson perhaps returning on the left and Chris Brunt on the right wing.
Andy Little, however, has been ruled out with a foot problem and sent back to Rangers to work on his recovery.
Manchester United defender Jonny Evans is fit to play despite feeling some pain in his ankle during the Russia match, and O'Neill has no other injury concerns.
Roy Carroll is set to once again line up in goal, with Lee Camp pulling out of the squad due to personal reasons and Trevor Carson called up as cover.
O'Neill has warned fans not to expect an easy match, though, after Luxembourg gave Portugal a major fright on Friday.
Daniel da Mota fired Luxembourg in front before Portugal battled back to claim a narrow 2-1 victory.
"When you look at the group we have you could say the perception is that this will be our easiest game, but you'd only need to have a conversation with the Portuguese and their manager to know it's not going to be straightforward," said O'Neill.
"I wouldn't say it's as easy a game as you'll get. If you look at Luxembourg, you'll see in recent times their games have been very close.
"In their last few games they've been beaten 2-1 by Georgia, 1-0 by Switzerland, they beat Macedonia 2-1.
"That gives you an indication that this is not a team, with all due respect, that's a San Marino or a Liechtenstein that is getting beaten 7-0 or 8-0 in qualifying games.
"The biggest thing against Portugal was their work-rate and their willingness to work. They played with a 4-5-1 formation, had a lot of energy in midfield and scored a great goal from a wide area.
"Going ahead gave them a massive boost and they worked very hard for each other. I've no doubt they'll do the same."