A huge day for Northern Ireland as they aim to reach the Last 16. Germany are their opponents and Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79) shares his views.
Northern Ireland v Germany | Tuesday 17:00 | BBC One
Northern Ireland’s 2-0 win over Ukraine last week has put them on the brink of qualifying for the knockout stages of Euro 2016. Their task in their final match against Germany on Tuesday is to keep it tight and avoid a heavy defeat.
With the Irish +1 at the moment in goal difference even a two goal defeat would leave them ahead of Albania in the third place table but Michael O’Neill won’t want things to get too edgy.
Germany come into this game on four points. They were too strong for Ukraine in the opening match despite a few hairy moments but hardly looked like world champions in their following match against Poland.
Joachim Lowe’s side have dropped to third favourites in the outright betting and it’s fair to say they haven’t impressed in the way that Spain and Italy have.
Germany hold the key here for sure but I’m not convinced they can dismantle this gritty Northern Irish side. It’s the biggest game for the Irish nation in 30 years and they’re bound to be hugely fired for this clash with the world champions.
Whatever your thoughts on Northern Ireland it’s hard to crab their form. They’ve lost just one of their last 15 matches and conceded less than a goal a game in qualifying. That defensive prowess was more impressive than Germany’s.
They showed against Ukraine that they have enormous belief after qualifying and I’m backing them to keep it tight here. Remove Gibraltar from the equation and Germany scored more than two goals in qualifying on two occasions. They also only beat Georgia 2-1 at home.
Due to the nature of their task I can’t envisage Northern Ireland scoring here so I’m backing Germany to win 1-0 and 2-0 at odds of 4/1 and 41/10 respectively.
Northern Ireland v Germany – Germany to win 1-0 (4/1 Netbet)
Northern Ireland v Germany – Germany to win 2-0 (41/10 Netbet)
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