By Jonty Sutherland. LAST UPDATED October 11th, 2016

Away days for Northern Ireland and Scotland in World Cup Qualifiers

Home nations keen to stay in qualifying contention

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In the latest round of 2018 World Cup qualifiers, Northern Ireland travel to Germany while Scotland head off to Slovakia.

Michael O’Neill’s Northern Ireland will have their work cut out against world champions Germany in a repeat of their third Euro 2016 group game from just a few months ago. They lost that game but, thanks to some heroics from goalkeeper Michael McGovern, the Germans only managed one goal courtesy of Mario Gomez. O’Neill will need McGovern on form again on Tuesday evening.

A convincing win against San Marino on the weekend leaves Northern Ireland third in Group C with four points. Germany, however, lead the group with six points and will look to maintain their 100% win record in qualifying after a disappointing Euro 2016 in which they were knocked out by France.

Meanwhile, Scotland also face a tough test as they travel to the city of Trnava to play Slovakia.

On Saturday Scotland relied on a late goal from James McArthur to give them a point against Lithuania at Hampden Park. In what was a disappointing result, Gordon Strachan’s side struggled with in form Matt Ritchie and Robert Snodgrass failing to get into the game from midfield. Not only was the performance poor, but an injury to Darren Fletcher in the second half means Scotland may be without their captain for Tuesday evening’s clash with Slovakia.

Slovakia’s form, however, will be good news for Scottish fans. Despite having some notable strength in the form of Napoli’s Marek Hamsik and AC Milan’s Juraj Kucka, Slovakia have lost their first two qualifying matches including a particularly poor 1-0 defeat by Slovenia. They will hope that the return of Martin Skrtel from both injury and suspension will boost their chances of victory.

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