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Northern Ireland's 2018 World Cup qualifying fixtures released

By Adrian Rutherford

Published 26/07/2015

The drawing result for Europe are displayed during the preliminary draw for the 2018 soccer World Cup in Konstantin Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia, Saturday, July 25, 2015. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)
The drawing result for Europe are displayed during the preliminary draw for the 2018 soccer World Cup in Konstantin Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia, Saturday, July 25, 2015. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

Northern Ireland will kick off their bid to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in the Czech Republic, it has been revealed.

The fixtures for the qualification campaign were released by the Irish FA this morning.

The group's standout game - Northern Ireland v Germany - is the penultimate match and takes place in October 2017.

Michael O'Neill's side open with an away game against the Czechs on September 4 2016.

Their first home game takes place the following month when they take on minnows San Marino on October 8.

They then face a daunting trip to world champions Germany three days later.

That is followed by home games against Azerbaijan and Norway.

Northern Ireland make the long trek to Azerbaijan in June 2017, before the return game with San Marino on September 1 2017.

The home game against the Czechs takes place three days later (September 4 2017).

The eagerly awaited visit by the Germans to Windsor Park is on October 5 2017.

Northern Ireland then finish with a trip to Norway on October 8 2017.

Fixture list in full:

September 4, 2016 - Czech Republic v Northern Ireland

October 10, 2016 - Northern Ireland v San Marino

October 11, 2016 - Germany v Northern Ireland

November 11, 2016 - Northern Ireland v Azerbaijan

March 26, 2017 - Northern Ireland v Norway

June 10, 2017 - Azerbaijan v Northern Ireland

September 1, 2017 - San Marino v Northern Ireland

September 4, 2017 - Northern Ireland v Czech Republic

October 5, 2017 - Northern Ireland v Germany

October 8, 2017- Norway v Northern Ireland

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