Euro 2016 qualifiers: Confident Northern Ireland face Faroe Islands
Having enjoyed a blistering start to Euro 2016 qualifying, which has seen them climb within a point of Group F leaders Romania, Northern Ireland look to continue their impressive form when they tackle the Faroe Islands in a tough away trip.
Michael O’Neill’s men will be confident of getting the job done, though, after winning four and drawing one of their opening six games, and the Green and White Army are 15/4 with Coral to win both halves on their travels.
At the Torsvollur, Northern Ireland will look to extend their dominant record over a nation they have met regularly in Euro qualifying, having never been toppled by their counterparts in five encounters, including three victories.
Although, the home side are 5/1 to cause an upset which would potentially halt their opponent’s swift progress towards a first ever appearance at the Euro finals, with their last major tournament outing being the 1982 World Cup in Mexico.
O’Neill has faith his players can continue their fine form and achieve such an historic feat, but is wary of the threat the Faroe Islands pose, with Landslidid having beaten Greece twice and only suffered narrow defeats to Hungary and Romania.
“The Faroes have made steady progress, so we are expecting a very difficult game,” stated O’Neill.
“They are a physical team and have improved their performances and results. We will prepare in the right manner and we won’t treat them lightly.”
O’Neill is hopeful Chris brunt can recover from an injury sustained featuring for West Bromwich Albion recently, while Jamie Ward is also being treated and Billy McKay has replaced Ben Reeves in the squad following a knock.
Skipper Steven Davis missed training in the build-up to the crucial clash but Northern Ireland’s boss expects the Southampton midfielder to be fit for both of the upcoming qualifiers.
In-form frontman Kyle Lafferty seems to become a different animal when donning his international colours, despite still struggling for game-time at club level with Norwich City, and he is 4/1 to add to his five qualifying goals with the opening strike.
Brandur Olsen could be the visitor’s key danger from the midfield areas, with the 19-year-old Copenhagen starlet 13/2 to net anytime.
Northern Ireland can take a huge step towards securing their place at their maiden Euro finals, but will need a strong showing in both their imminent trip to the Faroe Islands and an upcoming home clash against third-placed Hungary.