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  • 09 November
  • 19:45
  • Bet365

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Northern Ireland – Switzerland (World Cup 2018)

Northern Ireland and Switzerland face each other this Thursday night at Windsor Park, in Belfast, for the 1st leg of the 2018 World Cup play-off. Without being able to play in a World Cup since 1986, Northern Ireland have here an opportunity to break the fast and get back to a major tournament. Switzerland, on their turn, after being Group B leaders since the 1st round, saw the direct qualification to Russia in 2018 be denied in the last round of the group stage, losing at the hands of the European Champions.

Northern Ireland come here after being unable of achieving more than the 2nd place in Group C with 19 points, result of 6 wins, 1 draw and 3 defeats, with 17 goals scored and 6 goals conceded. This national team was not very lucky in their group, being grouped with the actual World Champions in title who won all the 10 Group C matches. Northern Ireland hasn’t qualified for a World Cup since 1986, in Mexico, and only in 1958 they have managed to go beyond the group stage.

Most of the players in this national team either line up in the Scottish Premier League or in one of the top 3 football leagues in England. The Norn Iron have been a revelation under Michael O’Neill, and even though they come here after consecutive defeats, it is important to note that they have won 4 of their 5 home games in Group C, losing only to Germany, and kept 4 clean sheets in those 5 games, scoring 12 goals in the process.

In their last 5 official matches, Northern Ireland has a record of 3 victories and 2 defeats. This sequence of results started with a 0-1 victory against Azerbaijan. This result was followed by a 0-3 win over San Marino, a 2-0 win against Czech Republic, a 1-3 defeat against Germany, and in their last match, a 1-0 defeat against Norway.

Probable Lineup: McGovern – McLaughlin, McAuley, Jonny Evans and Brunt – Davis and Corry Evans – Magennis, Norwood and Dallas – Washington.

World Cup 2018Switzerland, on their turn, ended the Group C in 2nd place with 27 points, result of 9 victories and 1 defeat, with 23 goals scored and 7 goals conceded. Switzerland enjoyed a great campaign through Group B, being group leaders since the 1st round and only losing it to Portugal in the last round of the group stage. Switzerland were left with a bitter taste after ending the Group B with the same points than Portugal, but with an inferior goal difference. La Nati have participated in the last 3 World Cups, reaching the round of 16 twice but never went further than that.

The Swiss also have a squad with well-known and very talented players, with keepers like Sommer and Burki, defenders like Lichtsteiner, Elvedi and Ricardo Rodríguez, midfielders like Granit Xhaka, Behrami and Shaqiri, and strikers like Seferovic and the youngster Embolo. Switzerland have only lost 1 World Cup qualifier game since 2009, and it was this year against Portugal. This trip to Northern Ireland will not be easy, but La Nati will try to take the play-off decision to their home ground.

In their last 5 official matches, Switzerland has a record of 4 victories and 1 defeat. This sequence of results started with a 0-2 win against Faroe Island. This result was followed by a 3-0 win over Andorra, 0-3 win against Latvia, a 5-2 victory over Hungary, and in their last match, a 2-0 defeat against Portugal.

Probable Lineup: Sommer – Lichtsteiner, Elvedi, Schar and Rodríguez – Freunier and Xhaka – Shaqiri, Dzemalli and Mehmedi – Seferovic.

There have only been 4 direct clashes in all history, with Northern Ireland winning 2, drawing 1 and losing the other one.

Switzerland
0-0
Northern Ireland
Friendly Match 2004
Northern Ireland
1-0
Switzerland
Friendly Match 1998
Switzerland
2-1
Northern Ireland
WC1966 UEFA
Northern Ireland
1-0
Switzerland
WC1966 UEFA

Northern Ireland will look to get a result that gives them advantage in the second leg. However, Switzerland have been showing their worth in recent years and may surprise the home team.

Betting Preview Odd Bookmaker Success
Asian Handicap: Switzerland 0 1.59 Bet365
irlandadonorte
Northern Ireland
  • Country: Northern Ireland
  • Stadium:
  • City: Belfast
  • Establishment: 1880

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suiça
Switzerland
  • Country: Switzerland
  • Stadium:
  • City: Zurique
  • Establishment: 1895

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Fábio Mota
  • Predictions made 174
  • Average Odds used 1.76
  • Predictions right 99
  • Predictions wrong 65
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