Injured Evans to miss World Cup qualifier

Northern Ireland have lost influential defender Jonny Evans for the World Cup qualifier against Azerbaijan on Wednesday, with Andy Little and Alex Bruce also ruled out through injury.

While Little (foot) and Bruce (knee) would be unlikely to make the starting XI for the Group F clash, Evans (groin) is one of Michael O’Neill’s most important players and was one of the top performers in the side’s memorable 1-1 draw in Portugal last month.

O’Neill has responded to the withdrawals by adding uncapped Liverpool teenager Ryan McLaughlin and Burnley’s Danny Lafferty to his squad.

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