These two nations earned their place in the final playoff tie with dramatic penalty-shootout victories over Bosnia-Herzegovina and Republic of Ireland respectively.
When two teams have failed to win any of their five previous matches in normal time, you would not expect to find them on the brink of an appearance at a major tournament.
However, that has occurred with both Northern Ireland and Slovakia, who meet later this week having not recorded a victory since the closing months of 2019.
Ian Baraclough watched his side progress through to the final by recording a 4-3 penalty-shootout win over Bosnia-Herzegovina after initially holding their hosts to a 1-1 draw.
As for Slovakia, they posted a goalless draw with Republic of Ireland before holding their nerve during the same circumstances, converting each of their four spot kicks.
Nevertheless, it did not stop their football association from parting ways with Pavel Hapal after defeats followed against Scotland and Israel in the UEFA Nations League.
That has resulted in Stefan Tarkovic being placed in caretaker charge, with the 47-year-old aware that victory on Thursday could land him a contract through to next summer.
Although Slovakia will quickly have to adapt to fresh methods introduced by their new boss, Northern Ireland find themselves still doing the same under Baraclough.
While it is recognised that the Green and White army won against the odds against Bosnia-Herzegovina, they only have a late draw against Romania to show from their other four matches since the start of September.
These two nations last met in a friendly ahead of Euro 2016 with a goalless draw being played out in Trnava.
Northern Ireland form (all competitions): LDLDLL
Slovakia form (all competitions): WLDDLL
Jonny Evans is expected to be passed fit for Northern Ireland despite suffering a knock to his back at the weekend.
Markovic has handed a recall to Vladimir Weiss, who returns to the international stage having not represented his country since 2018.
Northern Ireland possible starting lineup:
Peacock-Farrell; Dallas, Cathcart, Evans, Lewis; Whyte, Davis, Saville, McGinn; McNair; Magennis
Slovakia possible starting lineup:
Rodak; Pekarik, Skriniar, Valjent, Mazan; Kucka, Hrosovsky, Hamsik; Rusnak, Duda, Weiss
We say: Northern Ireland 1-2 Slovakia
If their matches at the last-four stage are anything to go by, this has all the makings of a tense affair. Both teams will need to show more quality in the final third than normal, and we feel that the visitors are better equipped to provide that extra cutting edge.