Romania open their Nations League Group B1 campaign by welcoming Northern Ireland to the Arena Nationala in Bucharest.
Romania join the B division after winning promotion from League C whilst Northern Ireland avoided relegation by virtue of a format change which saw them stay up as part of the new four team group system.
Romania have no fresh injury concerns to report ahead of this match with a full squad available for selection.
Northern Ireland will be without Sunderland defender, Tom Flanagan who withdrew for family reasons and has been replaced by Arsenal’s Daniel Ballard.
- Romania are unbeaten in three of six previous meetings with Northern Ireland in all competitions (W2, D1, L3).
- Northern Ireland have lost two of three previous trips to Romania (W1, L2), losing twice by 2-0 results on both occasions.
- Northern Ireland have taken the lead in their last two away trips, despite winning just one of their last three overall away games (W1, L2).
Northern Ireland enter this match as slight underdogs with a new manager in Ian Baraclough in charge and just one win in their last five, although it is worth noting that they faced Germany and Netherlands twice in that run either side of victory over Czech Republic.
Romania meanwhile have taken just one point from their last four games against higher ranked opposition so aren’t exactly in strong form either which makes this clash that more unpredictable but if Baraclough can continue O’Neill’s progress and help a current goal lacking strike force find goals and form then I can see Northern Ireland having the edge because they look a strong team against weaker opposition than many might think.
Prediction: Romania 0-2 Northern Ireland
Result: Romania 1-1 Northern Ireland