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Northern Ireland v Switzerland Preview

RECOMMENDED BETSMARKETODDSBOOKMAKERS
1-1Correct Score5/1Bet365
Northern Ireland 1-0Correct Score15/2Paddy Power
Steven DavisAnytime Goalscorer17/2Unibet

All odds quoted are subject to change

Northern Ireland have proven to be a hard team to break down in recent years and are aiming to clinch consecutive qualifications for major tournaments.

At Euro 2016 in France, Michael O’Neill’s side lost 1-0 to both Germany and Poland in their group, but beat Ukraine 2-0 before losing 1-0 to Wales in the Round of 16.

Switzerland also reached the Round of 16 in France – beating Albania 1-0, before draws with Romania (1-1) and France (0-0), then losing on penalties to Poland after another 1-1 draw. A bet on ‘Under 2.5 Goals’ would have won in all eight matches!

Northern Ireland finished runner-up in a tough qualifying group featuring Germany, the Czech Republic and Norway – winning all of their games here at Windsor Park apart from a 3-1 defeat to the World Champions last month.

They conceded just six goals in qualification, with Germany responsible for five of those goals, and no doubt O’Neill will ensure his team are set up to frustrate again.

Switzerland finished behind Portugal in their qualifying group, despite finishing level on points with the European Champions and winning 9 of their 10 games in a weak group – but going down 2-0 in their final game against Ronaldo and co last month.

The Swiss are favourites here at best odds of 6/5 with Paddy Power, while Northern Ireland can be backed at 10/3 with Betfair and the draw at 21/10 with Bet365.

With so much at stake this looks highly likely to be a closely contested, low scoring affair in Belfast – indeed Betfair offer the best odds of just 4/9 on Under 2.5 Goals.

Unfortunately that price offers no value and so we’d prefer to back a 1-1 draw at the 5/1 with Bet365 – who refund losing Correct Score bets on all games that finish 0-0.

We also cannot resist a bet on a 1-0 home win at the stand-out odds of 15/2 with Paddy Power – a result which would nicely set up Sunday’s second leg in Basel.

Steven Davis will win his 100th cap on Thursday and the Northern Ireland captain – who scored twice here at Windsor Park against Greece to secure qualification for Euro 2016 – takes the penalties and is a stand-out 17/2 with Unibet to score a goal.

RECOMMENDED BETSMARKETODDSBOOKMAKERS
1-1Correct Score5/1Bet365
Northern Ireland 1-0Correct Score15/2Paddy Power
Steven DavisAnytime Goalscorer17/2Unibet

All odds quoted are subject to change