Northern Ireland to keep sharp
Friendly at Windsor Park keeps us active
Football fans enjoy a dusting of entertainment on Friday, in the form of international friendlies. We have one eye firmly set on Saturday’s Champions League final between Real Madrid and Juventus in Cardiff, but before getting in to that, the Coral team run over the betting for Northern Ireland vs New Zealand.
Played at Windsor Park from 7.45pm, live in front of the Premier Sports cameras, Michael O’Neill’s side aim to keep sharp for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers with what appears to be a straightforward test against The All Whites.
Norn Iron off a strong defence
We’re treated to a little piece of footballing history on Friday as these sides meet for the first time in competitive action, and it promises to be a memorable occasion. The home team go in with reason to be confident, sitting second in World Cup qualifying Group C, five points behind leaders, and favourites to stay there, Germany. Two wins in their last two saw Northern Ireland beat Azerbaijan and Norway, both without conceding.
That trend to continue is sure to hold plenty of weight in the betting ring this week, and backers will find another win to nil for Norn Iron at 13/10. That recent purple patch stretched their pool record to three wins, one draw and a sole defeat, the spare reverse coming at the hands of the Germans last year.
Home win fancied in the betting
Two of those wins have given us 4-0 correct scores, and those eager to play small stakes for big returns can have that outcome popping up again at a value 28/1. Well worth a play at interest stakes, considering recent results.
A home win, regardless of how they achieve it, can be added to your weekend football accumulators at 6/10, with our traders believing O’Neill’s side are more than capable of getting the desired result, if they turn up and play to the best of their abilities. Confident? -1 on the handicap is 15/8.
NZ form sees them written off
New Zealand make the trip on a miserable run of form, and have managed to lose to Mexico, Thailand and Uzbekistan in recent outings. Hardly the form that’ll have punters rush out to trust the tourists with their cash.
They did grab a draw vs USA in the not too distant past, Patterson scoring late in the day to cancel out a first-half strike from Green. The loss to Mexico would’ve been expected by most before a ball had been kicked, but it’s worth noting they did score that day, Rojas hitting the net early in the second-half to equal an earlier strike by dos Santos. Fabian grabbed the winner shortly after, ensuring the result was never in danger.
Anthony Hudson’s crew are virtually friendless on the Coral trading floor this week, and you’ll get a chunky 19/4 on the upset, while a draw doesn’t look too much better, 23/10 the call at the time of writing. Coral do have a number of special markets to spice things up a bit, and if you fancy a high-scoring home win, there’s 7/2 on both teams to score and Northern Ireland to prevail.