Baraclough homes in on opening World Cup win as skipper sets new caps record 

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Steven Davis.

Q Radio Sport

Northern Ireland boss Ian Baraclough understands why the home game against Bulgaria on Wednesday is being called a "must win" if they're to qualify for the 2022 World Cup.

A defeat to Italy in the opening group match last week means the GAWA are hoping to pick up their first points.

However, Baraclough is confident his players can handle the added pressure around the fixture.

He made 10 changes for Sunday’s USA friendly and suggested the line-up will change again against the Bulgarians as he looks to bring back the experience of Steven Davis, Jonny Evans and Stuart Dallas.

Rangers midfielder Davis will surpass former England goalkeeper Peter Shilton as the UK's most capped international male player if he wins cap No 126 at Windsor Park. 

Steven Davis was made Northern Ireland captain by former boss Michael O'Neill.

The Republic were in action on Tuesday night, in Hungary, and it ended with honours even:

Coleraine beat Larne 2-0 at Ballycastle Road to close the gap at the top of the Danske Bank Premiership.

The Bannsiders are now seven points behind Linfield with a game in hand.

Ballymena moved up to fourth, above Larne, with a 2-0 win of their own - at home to Carrick.

Crusaders needed to come from behind with two late goals to beat Portadown 2-1 at Shamrock Park.

Glenavon had a 4-0 victory away to bottom club Dungannon Swifts.

Andy Hall scored twice for the visitors with free kicks two minutes apart. 

It was a night to forget for former Northern Ireland international Rory Patterson - the veteran Swifts striker came on a sub, missed a penalty, picked up an injury and while being substituted was sent off, booked twice for dissident by referee Lee Tavinder. 



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