Hot off the press

DID YOU KNOW?
22 | 08 | 16

DID YOU KNOW?

1. Petr Cech will not face Northern Ireland. The Arsenal keeper retired from international football in July after making a record 124 appearances for the Czech Republic.

2. Northern Ireland are bidding to reach the World Cup finals for the first time since 1986. Last time out they finished fifth in their six-team group.

3. On that occasion, they scored only nine goals in 10 qualifiers. In their qualifying group for the European Championship finals, Northern Ireland netted 16 in 10 games.

4. If Southampton’s Steve Davis plays in Prague he will move into joint fifth-place of Northern Ireland’s all-time cap holders. Currently he has 87 caps, one behind Maik Taylor and Sammy McIlroy.

5. The Czech Republic have a new coach. Karel Joachim, 60, replaced Pavel Vraba following the European Championship finals. This will be his second game in charge following the friendly against Armenia in Mlada Boleslav last week.

6. Phil Mulryne is the only Northern Irishman to score against the Czech Republic. His goal came in the 3-1 defeat in Prague in 2001, his second of just three goals for his country.

7. Glenn Ferguson made just five appearances for Northern Ireland, including two against the Czech Republic. His last appearance was as a substitute in the 3-1 defeat in Prague in 2001.

8. Will Grigg may have failed to play for Northern Ireland at Euro 2016 – but in a poll of 55 journalists to choose Europe’s best player, he got as many votes as Manchester United’s new £89 million signing Paul Pogba, coming 25th out of 37 nominations.

9. Northern Ireland are now 28th in the FIFA World Rankings, three places ahead of the Republic of Ireland and 23 spots clear of 51st-placed Scotland.

10. The Czech Republic, meanwhile, are 34th in the FIFA World Rankings after failing to qualify from the Euro 2016 group.

FANS TO VOTE FOR VAUXHALL NORTHERN IRELAND PLAYER OF THE YEAR

 

02 | 06 | 16

FANS TO VOTE FOR VAUXHALL NORTHERN IRELAND PLAYER OF THE YEAR

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