London Lite Wednesday, 9 September 2009 45 NORTHERN IRELAND could go top of their group tonight with a win against Slovakia at a rocking Windsor Park. Under coach Nigel Worthington they are unbeaten in six competitive games at home with five wins and a draw to their credit. Captain Aaron Hughes said: We know how to win games matches now, we know what it takes both physically and mentally. At home weve just got into a rhythm and weve got a bit of momentum going through the atmosphere, the confidence the lads have of playing at home with no fear. Even when things dont go well for us, we go a goal down or were not playing well, we know that we can pick ourselves up and that the crowd will stay with us. That sees us through games and if you throw everything into the mix, I think our form has been good. N IRELAND V SLOVAKIA 7.45PM (SKY SPORTS 3) LITESPORT2010WORLDCUPQUALIFIERS GROUP 3 P W D L F A PTS SLOVAKIA 7 5 1 1 19 8 16 N IRELAND 8 4 2 2 13 7 14 POLAND 7 3 2 2 19 8 11 SLOVENIA 7 3 2 2 10 4 11 CZECH REP 7 2 3 2 8 6 9 SAN MARINO 8 0 0 8 1 37 0 Good vibrations: Aaron Hughes GUUS HIDDINK will risk Andrey Arshavins groin injury in tonights World Cup qualifier -- a move that is sure to infuriate Arsene Wenger. Arsenals star forward hasnt played since he limped out of the 2-1 defeat at Manchester United 11 days ago. Arshavin took part in a training session last night at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff and reported no ill-effects. Victory is vital for the Russians if they want to overhaul leaders Germany in Group Four. Hiddink said: Andrey has done everything he has had to do. At the moment, there is no big problem. There should be no worry. He will take a responsible decision. WALES V RUSSIA 7.45PM (SKY SPORTS XTRA) GROUP 4 P W D L F A PTS GERMANY 7 6 1 0 20 4 19 RUSSIA 7 6 0 1 15 3 18 FINLAND 7 4 1 2 10 11 13 WALES 7 3 0 4 5 7 9 AZERBAIJAN 7 0 1 6 1 9 1 LIECHTENSTEIN 7 0 1 6 1 18 1 GROUP 9 P W D L F A PTS HOLLAND Q 7 7 0 0 16 2 21 SCOTLAND 7 3 1 3 6 10 10 NORWAY 7 1 4 2 7 6 7 MACEDONIA 7 2 1 4 4 9 7 ICELAND 8 1 2 5 7 13 5 HiddinkreadytodefyWenger Well do it because were Worthy it Hampden raw: boss George Burley drapes himself in the Saltire before tonights clash By George, we Scots just need Dutch courage SCOTLAND V HOLLAND 7.30PM (SKY SPORTS 2) GEORGE BURLEY will forget about pos- sible play-off permutations when Scot- land take on Holland in tonights crunch World Cup qualifier at Hampden Park. The Scots go in to the game in second place in Group Nine following the 2-0 home win over Macedonia on Saturday. However, all three points are still prob- ably required against the runaway sec- tion winners -- who have won all seven games -- if they are to have a chance of a play-off spot. If Northern Ireland fail to win at home against Slovakia tonight, and Poland draw with Slovenia, then a Scotland win would guarantee Burleys side a two-leg- ged play-off in November. However,anyothersetof resultswhich accompaniedaScotlandwinwouldmean the Tartan Army waiting a month until the last qualifying games are played before discovering their fate. The Scotland boss, though, is looking only towards the 90 minutes at Hampden tonight. He said: If we win the game, then it takes care of itself. Its a big opportunity, a huge task -- but one that we are looking forward to. We are looking to win against one of the top countries in the world. Althoughhehascomeunderhugepres- sure during the qualifying campaign, former Ipswich and Southampton boss Burley added: It is one of the most excit- ing games of my managerial career, one tolookforwardtoandthereiseverything to play for. It doesnt come any bigger. I havent got a clue (how Holland will approach the game) and Im not really worried. Its about what we do. Burley is sweating over the fitness of his No1 keeper Craig Gordon, who is struggling with a thigh strain, but he confirmed midfielder Scott Brown, who scored his first goal against Macedonia, has shrugged off an ankle injury. index.html2.html3.html4.html5.html6.html7.html8.html9.html10.html11.html12.html13.html14.html15.html16.html17.html18.html19.html20.html21.html22.html23.html24.html25.html26.html27.html28.html29.html30.html31.html32.html33.html34.html35.html36.html37.html38.html39.html40.html41.html42.html43.html44.html45.html46.html47.html