San Marino U21 v NI U21 preview
Northern Ireland Under 21s will look to win their first game of their qualifying campaign against San Marino.
By Mike Barton
Last Updated: 02/03/10 11:54am
Northern Ireland Under 21s will look to win their first game of their European Championship qualifying campaign against San Marino on Tuesday.
Steve Beaglehole's team have picked up just one point from their opening five matches so far, with their previous game, a 2-1 defeat at the hands of the Czech Republic, leaving them no chance of qualifying for next year's tournament.
Captain Corry Evans has stayed with the squad but may not be risked if he is given an opportunity to win his first cap for the senior side after being called up to replace his brother Jonny.
Young Cliftonville striker Liam Boyce, who has attracted the interest of some English clubs, is likely to be given a start to enhance his growing reputation.
Beaglehole is looking to the game as an opportunity to experiment by fielding some of the players from his Under 19 side, who he also coaches, due to the circumstances of their group position.
"It makes sense as we cannot qualify for the finals of the Under-21 Championship," he said.
"Of course we want the points but this is a chance for some players to gain good experience before going to Russia."