Tuesday 11 June: 7.45pm KO
Live on Sky Sports
Northern Ireland are three points clear at the top of their Euro 2020 group and will be looking for a fourth straight win away at Belarus. However, a look at their fixture list in this group tells you just why they are still not fancied to qualify for the finals.
Three games for Northern Ireland have produced nine points. Their three wins put them three points clear of the team in second place and six ahead of third place, with the top two qualifying for the finals. You can get odds of 20/1 (21.0) at Paddy Power on the Irish side winning this group and that’s because those teams in second and third just happen to be Germany and the Netherlands.
Northern Ireland have been blessed with a dream fixture list in this group. They kicked off with home wins over Estonia and Belarus. Their six points took them to the top of the table and another three points came on Saturday with another win in Estonia. They had to fight hard to get that win as they trailed 1-0 with 13 minutes to go and it was two subs that got the goals.
So, nine points out of nine and a game away to Belarus. Trouble is their last four games are all against the Germans and the Dutch. All the Irish can do is attempt to win this game and get the points in the bank. They are 7/4 (2.75) at Coral to beat Belarus.
The win in Estonia at the weekend was a key one for the Irish team. Before that victory they had seven away games without a win and even worse had failed to score in any of them. You can get 4/9 (1.44) at William Hill on Northern Ireland scoring in this match. If you think they’ll fail to find the back of the net, it’s 13/8 (2.61) if placing your wager with BetVictor.
Belarus come into this game still looking for their first point in this group. They haven’t had such a generous fixture list and have already lost to both the Netherlands and Germany. Belarus have never qualified for the European Championships but despite being nine points behind their opponents, they are already assured of a play-off position.
That’s because Belarus won their UEFA Nations League group without conceding a goal. To do that they got the better of San Marino, Luxembourg and Moldova to win promotion and a play-off chance. Only one of their last seven European Championship home qualifiers have been won and they are 7/4 (2.75) at Royal Panda to beat Northern Ireland.
This is only the third meeting between these two countries. Northern Ireland have won both of the previous games and over 2.5 goals were scored in both matches. The odds of that stat coming up in this qualifier are 6/4 (2.5) at Betway.
No injuries have been reported by either side after the weekend fixtures.
Late Late Show
The past two Northern Ireland games have both seen late goals scored. There have been three goals scored in the last 13 minutes of their matches against Belarus and Estonia. It’s 6/4 (2.5) at Betway that the final goal in this match is scored between the 76th minute and the final whistle.
Northern Ireland know that this group is a story of two halves. Four games against the lesser sides and then four against far stronger opposition. To have any chance of finishing in the top two, they have to get three points from this game. Belarus won’t be an easy nut to crack and only lost 2-0 at home to Germany on Saturday. A bet on Northern Ireland to win and under 2.5 goals being scored has odds of 10/3 (4.3) at Ladbrokes.