Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill facing selection headaches


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Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill could be without several first-team stars when his side take on Norway on Sunday night.

The two sides will meet at Windsor Park in a World Cup qualifier with O’Neill’s men sitting second in Group C. O’Neill’s side are five points behind Germany after four games, while Norway have struggled so far.

They have won just once but they may well be confident of recording an upset due to Northern Ireland’s current injury woes.

Charlton striker Josh Magennis is reportedly “extremely doubtful” due to a hamstring injury, while Corry Evans will miss the game due to a groin problem.

Veteran Aaron Hughes is also set to miss Sunday’s game due to a calf injury, while Kyle Lafferty is still struggling for match fitness.

His lack of game-time at Norwich has seen him drop down the pecking order and Queens Park Rangers man Conor Washington could lead the line.

Nottingham Forest’s Jamie Ward could also feature on the wing but O’Neill has cast doubt on Lafferty starting.

He told reporters: “His overall fitness is very good, in terms of match fitness that’s a different thing.

“It will be a factor in terms of the decision that I make but the thing about Kyle is however long we play him for, we know we will get something from him. He is still very, very important to us.”

Northern Ireland’s home advantage makes them 2.38 favourites to win, with the draw at 3.00, while Norway are available at odds of 3.40.

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