Northern Ireland v Slovakia tips

Northern Ireland had never reached a European Championship final stage until four years ago when Michael O’Neill managed to guide this small nation to the finals in France and they made a decent fist of things by reaching the last sixteen of the competition before going out.

Now they have an opportunity to book their place at the postponed Euro 2020 and the bookies give them a fighting chance of getting over the line against Slovakia, with Ian Baraclough now in charge and hoping that he can steer this team of over-achievers to the multi-nation tournament next summer.

Can Northern Ireland Squeeze Past Slovakians?

One can only be impressed by the performance of Northern Ireland away to Bosnia in the semi-finals of the Euro 2020 play-offs. The visitors were the rank outsiders to get the better of decent opposition, with Aberdeen’s Niall McGinn scoring a second-half equaliser before the game went to spot kicks.

The Northern Irish kept their nerve to go through on penalties and are now one game away from reaching next summer’s tournament, although there’s a major concern that the team have really struggled to score goals and win recent matches, so it’s hard to be really confident that they can win this one.

There are some reasons to be optimistic in the sense that Leicester City’s Jonny Evans is capable of marshalling a well-drilled defence along with Watford’s Craig Cathcart, while captain Steven Davis is able to offer a commanding midfield presence to give the Northern Irish hope of going through.

Are Slovakia a Decent Bet to Win in Belfast?

Slovakia are probably a better team player-for-player and they played out a tight encounter against the Republic of Ireland at the semi-final stage where the game ended goalless after normal time and extra-time.

Stefan Tarkovic’s side kept their nerve to score all their spot kicks and one would argue that they have the capability to edge out this clash, although they were recently beaten 3-2 at home to Israel and they failed to score when losing 1-0 away to Scotland.

What are the Best Bets for This Match?

We shouldn’t expect a classic at Windsor Park on 12 November, with the prize of a Euro 2020 place at stake meaning that we’re virtually certain to have a tense encounter as was certainly the case during the semi-final stage of proceedings.

Both teams will have a similar game plan, namely to keep things tight and hope to find an edge through a set piece or something similar. It’s essentially a strategy that any team with a lack of attacking quality will have, although Slovakia have the veteran Marek Hamsik who can still be deadly from free-kicks.

As you’ll see from the latest odds, the Under 2.5 Goals quote is fairly prohibitive although we think it’s a good accumulator pick and we would also go for Under 1.5 Goals as a single bet. If you’re thinking that a 0-0 correct score bet is a good idea, then we would suggest going for No Goalscorer on the First Goalscorer market instead. That is because if the only goal of the game is an own goal, then punters will still profit with the No Goalscorer bet.

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