UEFA Women's EURO 2017 Qualifier - Northern Ireland - Switzerland: Hosts hope to upset strong Swiss side
Image credit: VAVEL (Jonny Walsh)

The two remaining teams with 100% records in Group 6 go head-to-head on Friday evening, as Northern Ireland play host to Switzerland at Mourneview Park.

It will see the first ever meeting between the two sides and with Northern Irish football on a huge high following the men's success, the women are desperate to follow suit and make it to the 2017 European Championship in the Netherlands.

Both look to end 2015 with a bang

Never has there been such a feel-good time surrounding Northern Ireland's exploits. After Kyle Lafferty and co. shot the men to France, Avilla Bergin has seemingly taken up that role for the women. Her brace against Georgia, either side of half time, secured three points to open the campaign, in what was an impressive display away from home.

Now back at home, their first game will see them take on one of the world's best sides. They will look to captain Julie Nelson and their fellow English-based players. Laura Rafferty and Ciara Sherwood provide an abundance of evidence in midfield, and Tottenham's Bergin has also exploded onto the scene. Simone Magill will have a tough task on her hand leading the Northern Irish attack but, as has been seen from the nation previously, footballing upsets are what they do best.

For the Swiss, this is the first of a double header of qualifiers that could see them sitting pretty at the top of the group at the end of the year. After comfortable victories against Italy and Georgia, it looks like they will finally be heading to their first ever European Championship. The current crop are hugely talented, and have a good mix of youth and experience within the squad.

The likes of Noelle Maritz, Cinzia Zehnder, Florijana Ismaili and Barla Deplazes are only just beginning their careers, but already looked destined for big things. They'll be guided through the game by three veterans of international and Frauen-Bundesliga football. Lara Dickenmann, Caroline Abbé and Martina Moser all boast over 100 caps for Switzerland, and Dickenmann will be especially keen to secure a win on Friday, given that it is her birthday.

Can the Swiss cope with Bachmann? (Image credit: UEFA)
Can the Swiss cope with Bachmann? (Image credit: UEFA)

Team news

After claiming the three points last time out and having a fully fit squad to pick from, it looks unlikely that Alfie Wylie will make any changes to the side that won in Tbilisi. Avilla Bergin and Aimee Mackin will look to continue their impressive form from that game out wide once more, with the former keen to add to her first ever international goals.

Switzerland will be without their highest profile name at Mourneview Park, with Ramona Bachmann unable to make the trip due to illness. However, the Swiss have plenty of other attacking options. Martina Voss-Tecklenburg has several players who could partner 1. FFC Frankfurt star Ana-Maria Crnogorčević up front, though it looks like that job will fall to Eseosa Aigbogun.

Predicted line-ups

Northern Ireland (4-4-1-1): Higgins; Crackle, Simpson, Nelson, Hyndman; Vergin, Rafferty, Furness, Mackin; Sherwood; Magill.

Switzerland (4-4-2): Thalmann; Maritz, Abbé, Kiwic, Rinast; Dickenmann, Bernauer, Moser, Humm; Crnogorčević, Aigbogun.

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