DAN MCCULLOCH (@Danmcc84) shares his betting views on Monday night’s World Cup qualifier between Northern Ireland and Czech Republic.
Northern Ireland v Czech Republic | Monday 4th September 2017, 19:45 | Sky Sports
There will be a sense of expectation at Windsor Park on Tuesday night as Northern Ireland go into the game knowing that a point will be enough to secure second spot in Group C and a likely play-off place.
Opponents Czech Republic go into the game knowing that they need to win to keep alive their slim hopes of reaching Russia next summer.
Given that it is likely to be a tense occasion and the fact that the last three games between these two have ended goalless, it is no surprise that 0-0 is as short as 11/2 and Under 1.5 Goals barely bigger than 6/4.
Northern Ireland may not have lost in at home in a competitive game for almost four years but it is worth noting that according to the current world rankings, Greece (ranked 38) are the best side they have faced during that time.
Don’t discount the Czechs
There is little doubt that Windsor Park is a fortress but I feel that the Czechs demonstrated that they are the better side in the reverse fixture in Prague last year.
Their Achilles heel that day – and throughout this campaign – was their ability to convert their chances. Indeed, in the likely event that they fail to make the play-offs, they will look back on the home games against both Tuesday’s opponents and Azerbaijan.
They had almost 40 shots on goal across the two games but failed to find the net. This profligacy was also evident against Germany on Friday night as despite having the better of the chances against their illustrious opponents, they were beaten by a late Mats Hummels header.
The betting angles
I genuinely believe there is a gulf in class between these two and am happy to accept the 171/100 with Marathon for an away win. The price is shortening, so I would recommend getting on ASAP.
The 1-0 is a little too skinny at 6/1 so I will also back the Czechs to win by two goals without reply – that is 12/1 with Bet Victor.