Faroe Islands v Northern Ireland background

Tickets for the Faroe Islands' meeting with Northern Ireland were reportedly all snapped up in the space of 16 hours – a measure of the home side's optimism in Group F.

The Faroe Islands are in positive mood as they welcome Northern Ireland, who will be eager for three UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying points, with their main Group F rivals Hungary and Romania meeting elsewhere.

Previous meetings
• Gareth McAuley and Kyle Lafferty scored, and Roy Carroll saved a Fródi Benjaminsen penalty, as Northern Ireland beat the Faroe Islands 2-0 in their first Group F meeting in October 2014.

• The Faroes' record in five games against Northern Ireland is W0 D2 L3 (W0 D1 L1 at home – W0 D1 L2 in Belfast). However, that 5-0 'home' defeat was played in Landskrona, Sweden, with their only actual encounter in the Faroe Islands a 1-1 draw in Toftir, Kyle Lafferty (76) replying to a strike from Christian Holst (60).

• Atli Gregersen is absent through suspension. Fródi Benjaminsen and Brandur Olsen are both a booking away from a one-game ban.

• Northern Ireland midfielder Chris Brunt and forward Kyle Lafferty are a yellow card away from a suspension.

Form guide
• The Faroe Islands completed a Group F double with a 2-1 home success over Greece in their last qualifier in June. Their 1-0 win in Greece earlier in the campaign marked their only clean sheet in their last 19 competitive matches.

• The Faroes' best-ever defensive performance over the course of a campaign was in qualifying for UEFA EURO 2000, where they conceded 17 times in ten fixtures – an average of 1.7 per game. At the moment, they are conceding at a rate of 1.33 a match.

• Northern Ireland have won two of their three Group F away fixtures to date – two more than they managed in FIFA World Cup qualification.

• Northern Ireland have not won as many away games in a qualifying campaign since conjuring three victories in qualifying for EURO '96.

Trivia and links
• The Faroe Islands Football Association (FSF) said tickets for the Northern Ireland match sold out in an unprecedented 16 hours in the wake of the national team's 2-1 home triumph over Greece in June.

• Northern Ireland goalkeeping coach Maik Taylor – who was listed as an emergency reserve goalkeeper earlier in the qualifying programme – turns 44 the day of the Faroe Islands trip.

• In UEFA age-group competitions, Northern Ireland's record in five games against the Faroe Islands is W4 D1 L0 – with no goals shipped. The countries' Under-19 sides meet for the first time on 14 October 2015.

• The four encounters between the nations' clubs in UEFA competitions have left the Northern Irish representatives with the record W2 D2 L0 – and again, no goals conceded. Linfield were taken to penalties by B36 Tórshavn in the 2012/13 UEFA Champions League first qualifying round, but the Belfast outfit prevailed 4-3, and then overcame ÍF Fuglafjørdur 5-0 on aggregate in the 2013/14 UEFA Europa League first qualifying round.