Northern Ireland boss Michael O’Neill has all but confirmed that Hearts forward Conor Washington will start against Germany tonight.
The striker is playing well at club level, scoring two goals this term after 18 months without a domestic goal. It has prompted O’Neill to select the Jambos striker for potential action against some of the world’s best.
The Northern Ireland boss has now dropped a big hint as to whether the striker will start against the 2014 World Cup winners.
He told the BBC: “He’s in a good place to start (against Germany). Conor just had a wee bit of a back issue so we had to monitor him this week and wrap him up in cotton wool.”
Germany match a great test for Hearts’ Washington
It’ll likely be a tough night for him at Windsor Park, but what a test this could be for Washington. He’ll play against some of the world’s best against Germany.
His likely foes will be Niklas Sule, Jonathan Tah and Matthias Ginter, who started as a back three against Holland over the weekend.
They did concede four to them though, so perhaps they could still be reeling from that when they arrive in Belfast.
Washington will certainly hope that is the case. Coming up against three world class centre-backs could make his night a long one if he doesn’t have one of his best games.
It will be a great occasion for him to test his skills though. With Northern Ireland on maximum points from their opening four games, and Germany currently sitting on nine in second, there’s a chance for Northern Ireland to take a big step towards Euro 2020 qualification.
It’ll be a big ask and it will take an even bigger shock to pull that off though. If he performs well, Washington could make himself a Northern Ireland hero tonight.