Northern Ireland vs Greece by Rahul
Pick based on Asian handicap. Not familiar with handicaps? Read our Asian handicap betting guide
Northern Ireland are leading their group in the Euro 2016 qualifiers, in a group including Romania, Hungary, Finland and Euro 2004 champions Greece. For them to sit on the top of the group, it surely showcases the great form and the great stability that the team has built under Manager Micheal O'Neill. They have only lost 1 game in their qualifying campaign which was a 2-0 loss away from home against Romania, but have delivered 5 wins and 2 draws in the remaining games that has helped them to the top of the table.
Tonight they take on Greece at home, looking for the 3 points that will seal their qualification to Euro 2016 in France next year. The Northern Irish will be be quite confident ahead of this game especially owing to the great performance they put in away from home against Greece winning 2-0 last October. The hero for them has been Kyle Lafferty who has netted 7 out of the 12 goals that they have scored. However, he has only played 13 minutes of football since signing for Norwich City, and his form will be worrisome for the team as they are banking on him to find the back of the net against a struggling Greek side in order to try and win this game. The Northern Irish have a chance to qualifying for a tournament after the 1986 World Cup, and will be looking at a strong home crowd in Belfast to provide the energy and spirit to take them over the finish line. Northern Ireland have seen their last few games been close, drawing 2 out of the last 3 games in qualifying, so that winning mentality might be missing a bit tonight.
Greece have struggled for the campaign, and will want to get these 2 fixtures out of the way by experimenting with some players ahead of the World Cup qualifying that will start a year from now. They have only managed 3 points from their 8 games so far, and all 3 of them have been draw with 2 stalemates and 1-1 draw. Goal scoring has been their achilles heel where they have only netted twice in the entire campaign. In fact only San Marino has scored less than them while Andorra, Moldova and Malta have scored more goals than them, and you know your in bad company when that happens. I don't see how the Greeks can score also against a decent Northern Irish defence boasting the likes of McAuley, Evans and Brunt who are now all playing for the same club in West Brom and developed a good understanding, and have McLaughlin to join them.
This game will be extremely tight as the Greeks generally don't concede a lot, while the Northern Irish will be looking to get back to major tournament football after 30 years and will be motivated for the victory. I back Northern Irish on the Asian lines as a half win, half draw; as this will minimise our loss to only half the stake if Northern Ireland manage to draw the game, which is the least I expect out of this encounter.
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|Northern Ireland AH-0.25||Bet365||2.10||7||3-1 WON (+7.7 units)|