Northern Ireland v Germany
Wednesday June 22, 2:00am
Northern Ireland have a chance to reach the second round after their shock win over Ukraine. However, they might need another point to get there and they’ll certainly want to avoid too much damage to their goal difference.
Germany’s recent form reads W4-D1-L4 but their competitive form is much better, with seven wins in their last nine matches. They’ve kept six clean sheets in their last seven tournament matches as the one game they conceded in was the 7-1 demolition of Brazil, but the other six have all had fewer than three goals and three have finished goalless.
However, while Manuel Neuer is yet to concede the attack is struggling somewhat and there is a feeling they are still searching to find their best formation.
Northern Ireland were superb as they turned in an historic performance against Ukraine, however, getting a point off the world champions promises to be a far harder task. They will look to get men behind the ball though and it won’t be easy for the favourites to break them down, as has already been shown in several other matches in this competition.
Their recent defensive record is excellent as well as they’ve not conceded more than once in any of their last 15 games, during which they’ve been beaten just twice. Furthermore, 20 of their last 25 matches have had fewer than three goals.
Since 1990 there have been 15 final group matches at major tournaments (Euros, World Cups and Copas) where one side had four points and the other three and 13/15 have been level at half-time, with 12 having fewer than three goals.
These Finals have so far been characterised by late goals as the superior teams have gradually worn down their opponents but Northern Ireland know how to frustrate opponents and we should see a low scoring affair as a result. For correct score bettors it’s worth noting that Northern Ireland’s last seven defeats have all been either 1-0 or 2-0 scores.
BACK – Under 2.5 Goals at 2.05