Kazakhstan vs. Northern Ireland Euro 2024 Qualifier Match Preview

In a bid to break a four-game losing streak in the Euro 2024 qualifiers, Northern Ireland is set to face Kazakhstan at the Astana Arena this Sunday afternoon.

Northern Ireland currently sits in fifth place in Group H, trailing fourth-placed Kazakhstan by six points. Meanwhile, the Hawks are just one point away from the top two positions.

Kazakhstan’s Recent Performance

Kazakhstan enters this Sunday’s match after suffering a 1-0 loss to Finland, who now leads Group H by two points, having won four out of five matches. However, Magomed Adiyev’s team remains within striking distance of the automatic qualification spots.

The Hawks started their qualifying campaign with a 2-1 loss to Slovenia but bounced back spectacularly from a 2-0 deficit to secure a 3-2 victory over Denmark, thanks to late goals from Askhat Tagybergen, Bakhtiyar Zaynutdinov and Abat Aymbetov.

They managed a comfortable 3-0 win against San Marino before clinching a 1-0 victory over Northern Ireland in the reverse fixture in June.

Kazakhstan has won three out of five qualifiers, scoring eight goals in the process, making them strong contenders for their first-ever European Championship appearance in Germany next summer.

It’s worth noting that Kazakhstan won their 2022-23 Nations League group, losing only one of their six matches, which adds to their confidence as they aim to continue their impressive run against Northern Ireland.

Northern Ireland’s Recent Struggles

On the other hand, Northern Ireland suffered a 4-2 defeat in Slovenia despite dominating possession and registering 13 shots. This loss added to their woes, as Michael O’Neill’s side has only secured three points out of a possible 15.

While they began their qualification journey with a straightforward 2-0 win against San Marino, Northern Ireland has faced four consecutive defeats, including 1-0 losses to Finland, Denmark, and Kazakhstan.

In a broader context, Northern Ireland has won just two out of their last 12 matches across all competitions, enduring eight defeats in the process. They have also failed to score in half of those matches.

During Euro 2020 qualifying, Northern Ireland managed four wins, two draws, and four losses, finishing behind the Netherlands and Germany with 13 points. However, in Euro 2024 qualifying, they have already suffered four losses in just five games.

Team News

Kazakhstan’s manager, Magomed Adiyev, is likely to stick with a 3-4-2-1 formation, with Abat Aymbetov leading the attack. Igor Shatsky will be in goal, while Marat Bystrov, Aleksandr Marochkin, and Nuraly Alip are expected to form the defense.

Northern Ireland, under Michael O’Neill, has been using a 4-1-4-1 formation, with Dion Charles up front and Shea Charles anchoring the midfield. Jonny Evans and Paddy McNair are the center-back partnership, with Trai Hume and Ciaron Brown likely as full-backs.

Possible Starting Lineups

Kazakhstan:

  • Shatskiy
  • Bystrov
  • Marochkin
  • Alip
  • Skvortsov
  • Tagybergen
  • Darabayev
  • Vorogovskiy
  • Kuat
  • Zaybutdinov
  • Aymbetov

Northern Ireland:

  • Peacock-Farrell
  • Hume
  • Evans
  • McNair
  • Brown
  • Charles
  • McMenamin,
  • Price
  • Saville
  • Kennedy
  • Charles

Match Prediction

Considering Northern Ireland’s current four-game losing streak, it’s likely that they will suffer a fifth consecutive defeat against Kazakhstan. The Hawks are poised to strengthen their qualification bid with a fourth win in five matches.

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