ROSS CASEY (@Rosscasey24) shares his betting views on Monday's UEFA Nations League contest between Bosnia & Herzegovina and Northern Ireland from Sarajevo.
Bosnia v Northern Ireland | Monday 15th September 2018, 19:45 | Sky Sports
The UEFA Nations League is proving fruitful for Bosnia, who have already beaten Northern Ireland and Austria once each, making them group leaders. Another win here will put the hosts on the verge of a play-off spot for Euro 2020, which would give them a great chance of making a return to tournament football.
Northern Ireland, on the other hand, have made a dreadful start to life in this competition, with two straight defeats and they are now staring relegation to Group C in the face.
Bosnia have won three of their last four matches, so they head into this one with plenty of confidence and they will be desperate to take their points tally to nine here. In fact, they have lost just one of their last nine matches and have only conceded three goals in that sequence of results.
This Bosnian side are hardly free-scoring however, with just seven goals netted in that time. Because of this Under 2.5 Goals matches have been a common occurrence, happening seven times out of nine – in fact that same stat reads true for Under 1.5 Goals too.
With that in mind, plus the injuries to Northern Ireland's attacking players, plenty of punters will be backing Under 2.5 Goals here, which is available at the same price as a home win – 63/100 with Marathon.
If that is your fancy, you can be a bit clever with your coupon and find Bosnia to win and Under 2.5 Goals at 21/10 with Boylesports or back Bosnia to win 1-0 at 9/2 or Bosnia to win 2-0 at 6/1.
Northern Ireland have won only two of their last 10 matches, having come out on top in five successive fixtures before that.
Last Friday I made a big song about how Will Grigg was as big a threat as Norn Iron were missing Kyle Lafferty but Michael O'Neill left him on the bench. He came on and hit the post, almost proving me right before suffering a hamstring injury himself.
After registering 31 shots in their last two home games before their defeat in Austria, I felt that Northern Ireland would attack the home side, but they only registered nine shots on goal which reflects their poor form on the road.
Michael O'Neill's side have failed to score in eight of their last 10 away games now, including each of the last five in a row.
If you fancy a Bosnia clean sheet here you can get best odds of 8/9 which is appealing when you consider the away side haven't scored in each of their last five on the road and will be without Grigg and Lafferty.
If you want to rinse some better value out of that statistic, you can get Bosnia to win ‘to nil' with a best price of 11/8 with BetVictor.
The betting angle
There are lots of ways that you can squeeze the best value out of this game, but for me – at the price – you can do far worse than back Bosnia to win 1-0, 2-0 or 3-0 at 7/5 with BetStars.
This covers the clean sheet that is expected against a depleted Northern Ireland attack that is goal shy on the road anyhow, and covers the most likely scorelines other than a 0-0 draw at a better price than a clean sheet or a home win ‘to nil'.
Bosnia v Northern Ireland – Bosnia to win 1-0, 2-0 or 3-0 (7/5 BetStars)