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Pressure is 'completely on Portugal' - Magill

Simone Magill
Magill featured in Northern Ireland's 2017 friendly victory against Portugal [Getty Images]

Northern Ireland striker Simone Magill believes that all the pressure will be on Portugal in their Euro 2025 qualifier in Leiria on Friday night.

Portugal are top of the group after two wins in their first two qualifying games and they sit 25 places above Northern Ireland in the Fifa world rankings.

As a result, Magill hopes that Northern Ireland can embrace the challenge at hand and play without fear.

"The pressure is completely on Portugal," the 29-year-old told BBC Sport NI

"All expectation is on them, so we'll relish the challenge and for us, we need to go out and try things we've been working on."

'We will be up against it'

Magill was involved the last time Northern Ireland played against Portugal and hopes the current crop of players can replicate the famous 1-0 away win they enjoyed in that 2017 friendly.

"We've got good memories of playing against Portugal away and it is hard to go and play in the heat, but it will be a really good test to see where we are."

The Aston Villa striker, who scored in Northern Ireland's 3-1 win against Bosnia-Herzegovina in their last game, believes that result will breed confidence for the young squad.

"We are in transition, and we are growing game after game especially after the last game where we had to dig deep away from home, and we showed great character.

"That will stand us in good stead going into [Friday] night where we will hopefully look to build again."

Magill is adamant that Northern Ireland must start the game in Leiria well to have any chance of springing an upset and picking up a positive result.

"We have spoken a lot in this campaign about starting fast, it is definitely a really big focus of ours.

"There is no doubt we will be up against it, they're a top side, in the heat and with the crowd, but we are focused on ourselves and keeping it tight and hopefully we will get a good performance."