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Hughes: Old Villain mate Baros is a scary predator.

Byline: By DARREN FULLERTON

AARON Hughes has warned Northern Ireland to beware the "threat" of Galatasaray striker Milan Baros at Windsor Park this evening.

Hughes and Baros - who has scored an impressive 32 goals in 66 games for the Czech Republic - were team mates at Aston Villa just two years ago.

And the Irish skipper says Nigel Worthington's men will have to keep a close eye on the 26-year-old who has played for Villa, Liverpool and Portsmouth in the Premier League and made a habit of scoring important goals for his country.

"Baros is always a threat," said Hughes.

"Having played with him at Villa, I know what kind of player he is. He can drift out of games for 10 minutes, but then pop up with a goal or do something special.

"He has won the Champions League (with Liverpool in 2005) and he has been at big clubs in the past, so I know he is definitely a threat.

I will probably be seeing quite a bit of him on Wednesday night."

The Czechs, currently eighth in the FIFA world rankings, are favourites to top Group 3 of the World Cup qualifying series.

New boss Petr Rada, who succeeded wise old Karel Bruckner in July, also secured an impressive 2-2 draw with England at Wembley last month.

Ladbrokes have the Czechs 4/5 favourites to secure three group points at Windsor Park, with Northern Ireland priced at 4/1.

"It's not going to be easy against the Czechs," said Hughes. "We have had a chat about their team and they are favourites to win the group. They have quality throughout.

"But at the end of the day it is all about how we perform and approach the game on the night.

Past experience shows we can get good results at home when we click. Hopefully we will have enough to beat the Czechs."

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REPPED APART BAROS has scored 32 goals in 66 appearances for the Czechs
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Sep 10, 2008
Words:330
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