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Northern Ireland women's manager Kenny Shiels

Northern Ireland women's manager Kenny Shiels

William Cherry/Presseye

Northern Ireland women's manager Kenny Shiels

Northern Ireland will have home advantage for what they hope will be the most crucial women's international fixtures the country has ever faced.

Uefa have released the revamped Women's Euro qualifying schedule following the postponement of the April and June matches due to coronavirus.

With Kenny Shiels' side well placed as they aim to qualify for a major tournament for the first time the new fixture programme for the finals in England, which will now take place in 2022, could work in their favour.

Northern Ireland were due to travel to Belarus last month before a home double header next month against Belarus before facing Faroe Islands four days later. The final game was an away trip to the Faroes in September with play-offs in October.

That game in the Faroes remains on the original date of September 18 and the rest of the schedule is sure to please Shiels as he tries to chase down Wales, who are six points better off with four games to go, but with two games against Norway to come.

Northern Ireland will now go to Belarus in October before finishing with a home double header against Belarus and the Faroes on November 27 and December 1.

If Northern Ireland and Wales finish level, Shiels' side will progress with a better head-to-head record.

Northern Ireland women's Euro 2022 fixtures: Sept 18 v Faroe Islands (away), Oct 27 v Belarus (away), Nov 27 v Belarus (home), Dec 1 v Faroe Islands (home).

Belfast Telegraph