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Wednesday 24 Jan 2018
Davis says Northern Ireland will be tackling ‘two good teams’

Northern Ireland captain Steven Davis believes Michael O’Neill’s side got “a decent draw” in the inaugural UEFA Nations League.

At the draw for the new competition earlier today Austria and Bosnia and Herzegovina were drawn to play the boys in green home and away this autumn.

Davis said: “We are playing teams in and around us in terms of world rankings so I expect the games to be close and competitive. They will be two good teams to play against.”

He pointed out both teams have plenty of quality players but gave special mention to Austria’s Marko Arnautovic and Bosnia and Herzegovina captain Edin Dzeko.

“Arnautovic is a key player for Austria. He is top quality and is one of the names we are familiar with. He has taken a while to show his qualities at West Ham but he is definitely getting there,” the Southampton midfielder said. 

Roma striker Dzeko, who may end up at Chelsea during the current transfer window, has scored 52 times in his 89 appearances for Bosnia and Davis believes he will be a major threat in the two games against Northern Ireland. 

Meanwhile, the captain also revealed he is looking forward to the forthcoming friendlies against South Korea (March) and Panama and Costa Rica (May/June).

“It will be great to get back together following the disappointment in Switzerland. It will be good to start preparing for the Nations League and to get the World Cup play-off defeat fully out of our system,” he said.

“I think the matches in Central America will be two good games. Our trip to South America before the Euro 2016 campaign really galvanised us as a squad and I’m hoping the trip to Central America will have a similar effect,” the midfielder added.