Northern Ireland vs Belarus
Europe – EURO Qualification
Date: Sunday, 24 March 2019
Kick-Off at 19:45 UK / 20:45 CET
Venue: Windsor Park (Belfast).
Northern Ireland can’t afford a slip-up on Sunday evening when they take on Belarus in the second round of European Championship Qualifications. Green and White Army were drawn to a very tough group C together with Germany and Netherlands and they need to stay perfect against remaining two sides Belarus and Estonia in order to keep at least slim chances of making an upset and qualifying for the biggest continental competition in Europe.
Michael O’Neill’s men had a disappointing campaign in the maiden UEFA Nations League edition. They lost each of four games against Bosnia-Herzegovina and Austria with a 2-7 goal difference in the process. O’Neill should count on services of all of his key figures here expect for Sheffield United’s midfielder Oliver Norwood. Rangers’ Kyle Lafferty is expected to lead the line and be the biggest threat to Belarusian goal on the evening.
Northern Ireland vs Belarus: Head-to-head
This will only be the second head to head meeting between the two sides.
Northern Ireland claimed a demolishing 3-0 victory when they played White Wings in a friendly in May 2016 (just before the EURO 2016 in France where Green and White Army left a strong impression).
Northern Ireland vs Belarus: Prediction
Unlike Northern Ireland who were dropped down to Nations League C, Belarus took advantage of playing the weakest division topping their respective group (past Luxembourg, Moldova and San Marino) with a record of four wins and two draws in six matches.
White Wings thus have a back-up possibility to make it to EURO 2020 through Nations League play-offs. Igor Kriushenko’s men enjoyed a phenomenal defensive form throughout the campaign as they did not concede a single goal in six matches.
The visitors lack quality in the final third and they will park the bus against a stronger opposition here. We’d not be surprised to see Northern Ireland struggling to break the deadlock here. Under 2.5 goals FT would thus be the safest of betting options at 1.45.
Northern Ireland vs Belarus: Bet Tips
Under 2.5 goals FT @ 1.45 (9/20)
Northern Ireland to keep a clean sheet @ 1.83 (5/6).