Northern Ireland head to Kosovo on a dreadful run of form, with just one win in their last five games and only three goals scored during that time. They’ve failed to find the net in four of those five matches. Ian Baraclough’s men have made a poor start to their Nations League campaign, losing 1-0 at home to Greece before a goalless draw away at Cyprus. This latest trip to the continent will arguably be even more difficult, but it’s crucial Northern Ireland take home a result to avoid being cut adrift early on.
Like Northern Ireland, Kosovo also suffered a 1-0 defeat at home to Greece in their last match, but that came after beating Cyprus 2-0 away. In fact, that loss to Greece at the weekend ended a four-match unbeaten run for the Dardanians, who could make things very difficult for their latest visitors.
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Kosovo vs Northern Ireland match stats
Despite struggling in the Premier League with Norwich, Milot Rashica has been a potent attacking threat for Kosovo in recent times. Prior to the start of this Nations League campaign, the 25-year-old winger had notched two goals and three assists in his previous five internationals and will be expected to put in another dangerous performance on Thursday.
Northern Ireland, meanwhile, are starved of goals. Not only have they failed to score in four of their last five matches, but they’ve only scored more than once in one of their last nine. It was that lack of edge up front that cost them a place at the World Cup, with Northern Ireland conceding just seven goals in eight qualifiers but finding the net only six times themselves.