Northern Ireland will head to the Euro 2020 play-offs in March but first they must face Germany on Tuesday night.
Michael O’Neill’s side can no longer qualify automatically following Saturday’s 0-0 draw with the Netherlands so instead this game will be all about preparation for what is expected to be a tough play-off encounter.
Whoever the opponents in that play-off semi-final (and possible final) are in March – they will find out on Friday – they are unlikely to be of the quality of Germany, who head into this match looking to secure one of the top seeding positions for the finals draw.
Despite that aim, manager Joachim Low has suggested he will make changes to give some of his squad players game time. Keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen has already been confirmed as a starter.
That should give the visitors hope but they’ve struggled to break down the top teams. They did score in the Netherlands last month but both the Dutch and Germans kept them out in Belfast. Only Netherlands have scored against Germany in this group, Low’s team having kept five clean sheets.
They’ll have plenty of the ball again here – they enjoyed 74% possession in the reverse fixture, while Northern Ireland gave up 69% (home) and 77% (away) in their matches against the Dutch – and should have the quality to produce another solid showing.
8/11 is on offer about a win to nil for the hosts which looks fair enough.
Such a price won’t be for everyone, so correct-score backers should consider 2-0 at 11/2.
The Irish haven’t lost a competitive game by three goals since O’Neill took charge and have been difficult to break down during this campaign.
Germany to win to nil – 8/11 with bet365
All prices correct at time of writing and are subject to change
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