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European Championship Qualifying

A. Le Coq Arena (ATT 8,660) 6th September 2011 - Kick off 19:30 Ref: D Stalhammar

Estonia Estonia vs Northern Ireland N Ireland

Estonia 4

M Vunk (29)
T Kink (32)
S Zenjov (59)
K Saag (90+3)

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N Ireland 1

R Piiroja (og 39)

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Selection dilemmas for Worthington for must-win qualifier

Last Updated: 06/09/11 10:31am

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Northern Ireland coach Nigel Worthington must select from a depleted squad for his country's must-win Euro 2012 qualifier in Estonia on Tuesday evening.

Worthington saw his side lose 1-0 at home to Serbia on Friday after Steven Davis' mistake allowed Marko Pantelic to score the only goal of the game.

That result left Northern Ireland in fifth spot in Group C, but only two points adrift of second-placed Slovenia in the battle to claim the runners-up position behind runaway leaders Italy.

Both Slovenia and Estonia have played a game more than Northern Ireland, but Worthington's side look likely to require maximum points from their remaining three fixtures in order to have a chance of finishing second.

An upcoming double header with Estonia gives them a sniff, but a final group encounter away to Italy means the odds are not in their favour.

Tuesday's game in Tallinn will be the first competitive meeting between the two nations, but Northern Ireland have won both the previous friendly matches 1-0.

Record international goalscorer David Healy netted the only goal in Tallinn in 2004, while two years later, Ivan Sproule scored the winner in Belfast.

Healy is likely to lead the line for Northern Ireland, with his Rangers team-mate Kyle Lafferty still sidelined by the calf injury which ruled him out of the Serbia defeat.

However, Healy has not scored an international goal for almost three years and has made just one substitute's appearance for Rangers this season.

Worthington's other options in attack are Warren Feeney and Josh McQouid, so Healy's past reputation may get him the nod to start as Northern Ireland seek to improve upon a record of seven goals in seven games in the qualifiers.

Celtic winger Paddy McCourt is also carrying a calf injury, while Worthington is without the Evans brothers after Jonny and Corry both picked up yellow cards against Serbia, meaning they are suspended.

Sammy Clingan is in contention to play after missing the Serbia game through illness, while the likes of Lee Hodson and Ryan McGivern could come into the starting line-up.

Josh Carson and Andrew Little have been drafted into the senior squad from the Under 21s for a game captain Aaron Hughes has described as 'must win'.

Estonia put themselves in the mix to finish second courtesy of a shock success away to Slovenia on Friday, but must win both matches against Northern Ireland to have an outside chance of taking the runners-up spot.

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  • European Championship Qualifying

    Tue 6th Sep - Group B
    Tue 6th Sep - Group A
    • Azerbaijan
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    Tue 6th Sep - Group E
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Tables

European Championship Qualifying Group A

European Championship Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Germany 10 30
2 Turkey 10 17
3 Belgium 10 15
4 Austria 10 12
5 Azerbaijan 10 7
6 Kazakhstan 10 4

European Championship Qualifying Group B

European Championship Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Russia 10 23
2 Republic of Ireland 10 21
3 Armenia 10 17
4 Slovakia 10 15
5 Macedonia 10 8
6 Andorra 10 0

European Championship Qualifying Group C

European Championship Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Italy 10 26
2 Estonia 10 16
3 Serbia 10 15
4 Slovenia 10 14
5 Northern Ireland 10 9
6 Faroe Islands 10 4

European Championship Qualifying Group D

European Championship Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 France 10 21
2 Bosnia 10 20
3 Romania 10 14
4 Belarus 10 13
5 Albania 10 9
6 Luxembourg 10 4

European Championship Qualifying Group E

European Championship Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Netherlands 10 27
2 Sweden 10 24
3 Hungary 10 19
4 Finland 10 10
5 Moldova 10 9
6 San Marino 10 0

European Championship Qualifying Group F

European Championship Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Greece 10 24
2 Croatia 10 22
3 Israel 10 16
4 Latvia 10 11
5 Georgia 10 10
6 Malta 10 1

European Championship Qualifying Group G

European Championship Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 England 8 18
2 Montenegro 8 12
3 Switzerland 8 11
4 Wales 8 9
5 Bulgaria 8 5

European Championship Qualifying Group H

European Championship Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Denmark 8 19
2 Portugal 8 16
3 Norway 8 16
4 Iceland 8 4
5 Cyprus 8 2

European Championship Qualifying Group I

European Championship Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Spain 8 24
2 Czech Republic 8 13
3 Scotland 8 11
4 Lithuania 8 5
5 Liechtenstein 8 4

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