Northern Ireland in crucial World Cup qualifier tonight

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Northern Ireland host the Czech Republic at Windsor Park

By Richard O'Reilly

Northern Ireland can all but secure a World Cup qualification playoff spot with the right result against the Czech Republic tonight,

Following Friday night's 3-0 victory over San Marino, coupled with the Czech's 2-1 loss to group leaders Germany, Northern Ireland are in prime position to take second place.

A Josh Magennis brace was rounded off by a Stephen Davis penalty in San Marino, however the Czech's will provide a sterner test.

Michael O'Neill's men are currently 7 points clear of tonight's opposition in second place, with three group games to play.

At least a draw would secure second place in Group C for Northern Ireland, with eight of the nine runners-up advancing to the play-offs.

Last time the two sides met, it was a goalless draw in Prague.

However, NI boss Michael O'Neill says even with a win tonight, the job is by no means over.

 "It's not really a party to be honest" said O'Neill "Even with the right result, we still have to go to the playoff, we're certainly not going to be doing any big celebrations".

Northern Ireland are aiming to qualify for successive major tournaments after an appearance in Euro 2016.

Green and White Army captain Stephen Davis says the experience of qualifying for France should prove useful.

"Very similar position to what we find ourselves in" said Davis "Hopefully we can lean on that experience and use that to our advantage".

Northern Ireland still have a lot to do to qualify for Russia 2018, however they're close enough for the Windsor Park faithful to once again #DareToDream.

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