Northern Ireland will be eyeing a big upset as they prepare to take on World Champions Germany in the final Euro 2016 Group D match at the Parc des Princes in Paris on Tuesday evening.
The biggest underdogs of the tournament, Northern Ireland has pulled out a trick from their hat and eased past Ukraine 2-0 in their second group game. Michael O’Neill and his boys are guaranteed a minimum third placed finish in Group C and are looking at the possible knockout qualification in their first ever UEFA European Football Championship. There is any element of surprise in the way this team plays and as we mentioned in the pre-tournament preview, that can capable of upsetting anyone on their day.
Joachim Low’s Germany went from heroes to zeroes as they were help to a goal less draw by Poland. They took an incredible number of 16 shots at goal, with only three finding the target. The attack remains a big problem and gives plenty of headache to Low ahead of the crucial tie against Northern Ireland. The Mannschaft were running pretty inconsistent in pre-tournament friendlies and the performance against Poland just confirms the fact that they are far from close to the team that won the FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
Northern Ireland Team News:
Michael O’Neil made five changes to the squad that lost 1-0 to Poland in their opening group match. There were some major decisions that proved as Connor Washington who came in for Kyle Lafferty was a constant menace of Ukraine defenders alongside Jamie Ward. He is expected to field the same starting line-up in the final group game against Germany.
Northern Ireland Predicted Line-up (4-5-1)
McGovern – J.Evans, Cathcart, McAuley, Hughes– Dallas, Norwood, Davis, C.Evans, Ward – Washington.
Germany Team News:
Mario Gotze could be dropped to the bench following his lackluster performance against Poland and Low could opt for an out and out striker in Mario Gomez.
The place of Julian Draxler at the left wing is also under threat, with Andre Schurrle and Leroy Sane being viable replacements.
Germany Predicted Line-up (4-2-3-1)
Neuer – Hector, Mustafi, Boateng, Howedes –Khedira, Kroos – Schurrle, Ozil, Muller – Gomez.
Northern Ireland vs Germany: Head-to-Head stats
- This will be first meeting between the sides in 11 years, since Germany beat Northern Ireland in a friendly at the Windsor Park in Belfast on June 2005.
- Germany had never lost in the last 7 matches against Northern Ireland, with 4 wins and 3 draws.
- Also, Germany had won in each of the last 4 meetings with Northern Ireland, with a goal aggregate of 18-2.
Northern Ireland vs Germany: Prediction
The defeat to Poland ended Northern Ireland’s 12 match unbeaten run and that is their only loss in the last 14 matches. Also, they haven’t conceded more than 1 goal since March 2015, which stretches to 15 matches. With Germany’s forward line misfiring, this has the prospect of a low scoring affair.
I still believe that the Germans will eventually get the win in the end, but this is not going to be an easy match by any means. Northern Ireland must be considered as a team capable of frustrating big teams with the extremely organized combination of defense and midfield and are a dangerous prospect in set pieces.
Exact Score Prediction: Northern Ireland 0-1 Germany (odds 6.50).
Under 2.5 goals – Odds 2.00.
Asian Handicap: Northern Ireland (+1.5) – Odds 1.93
Germany to win at FT (Safe Pick) – 1.33.