Live on Sky: Northern Ireland vs Austria preview

Watch Northern Ireland vs Austria live on Sky Sports Football from 7.30pm or follow in our dedicated match blog on Sky Sports website and app; Watch in-game goals and free match highlights shortly after full-time

Friday 9 October 2020 21:32, UK

Team news and stats ahead of Northern Ireland vs Austria in the Nations League live on Sky Sports (kick-off 7.45pm).

Northern Ireland head into their UEFA Nations League encounter with Austria on Sunday buoyed after keeping alive their hopes of qualifying for Euro 2020.

Ian Baraclough’s men overcame Bosnia & Herzegovina on penalties following a 1-1 draw on Thursday to set up a European Qualifying play-off final showdown with Slovakia on November 12, but their attention now turns to how they can give themselves a better chance of reaching the 2022 World Cup.

Austria have already booked their place at Euro 2020, reaching successive European Championship tournaments for the first time. Adrian Grbic and Christoph Baumgartner were on target in a 2-1 win over Greece on Wednesday.

Northern Ireland have lost two and drawn one of their last three home games at Windsor Park, and Franco Foda’s side will now be looking to add to that underwhelming record which included a crushing loss at the hands of Norway last month.


Baraclough’s side have not made the best of starts to their campaign, snatching a last-gasp draw in Romania a few days before that loss to Norway. Austria sit a point better off in Group B1 and around 600 supporters are expected to be in attendance as coronavirus restrictions are eased.

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Team news

Northern Ireland will make changes following the trip to Bosnia; Corry Evans, Niall McGinn may make way but Jonny Evans should retain his place for this game.

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Gavin Whyte will be hopeful of a recall after scoring the late equaliser in Northern Ireland’s UEFA Nations League opener in Romania while Kyle Lafferty is in contention to start.

Austria made wholesale changes for their friendly with Greece and are expected to revert back to their strongest XI. Grbic did his chances of starting no harm with his goal, while Karim Onisiwo will also be hopeful of having earned a start.

What the manager said

Northern Ireland manager Ian Baraclough: “I know many of the Northern Irish public might have wanted [to face the Republic] but we didn’t have any preference really.

“It was all about [Bosnia] and getting through this tie. If you start looking too far ahead and wondering about who you want in the final it takes the focus off this game.

“There was no way we were going to allow the players or ourselves to do that. It’s Slovakia. Now we have to prepare properly for them whether it’s 90 minutes, 120 minutes or penalties to get us to the Euros and that’s all that matters.”

How to follow

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland vs Austria will be broadcast live on Sky Sports Football from 7.30pm; Kick-off at 7.45pm. Sky Sports customers can watch in-game goals in the live match blog on the Sky Sports website and app. Highlights will also be published on the Sky Sports digital platforms and the Sky Sports Football YouTube channel shortly after the final whistle.

Opta stats

  • Northern Ireland have lost each of their last three games against Austria, after losing just one of their first eight against them between 1982 and 2004 (W4 D3).
  • Both sides have found the net in all five of the meetings between Northern Ireland and Austria at Windsor Park, with 24 goals scored at an average of 4.8 per game.
  • Northern Ireland are yet to register a win in the UEFA Nations League (P6 D1 L5), losing all three of their home games.
  • Austria have won each of their last two away games in the UEFA Nations League (2-1 v Northern Ireland and Norway), after losing their first game on the road in the competition back in September 2018 (0-1 v Bosnia and Herzegovina).
  • Across all competitions, Northern Ireland are winless in their previous five games in all competitions (D3 L2) – they last went six consecutive games without a victory in June 2014 (a run of eight).
  • None of Northern Ireland’s players have been directly involved in more than one goal in the UEFA Nations League yet (six games), while Paddy McNair could become the first player to score in consecutive appearances in the competition for them.
  • All seven of Austria’s goals in the UEFA Nations League have been scored by different players (Arnautovic, Schlager, Lazaro, Gregoritsch, Sabitzer, Baumgartner and Onisiwo).
  • Niall McGinn has netted in two of his previous four starts for Northern Ireland, scoring against Estonia in March 2019 and also in his team’s most recent game against Bosnia and Herzegovina.

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