FOOTBALL journalist Adam Goodwin (@AGJournalistm) shares his betting views on Sunday's UEFA Nations League contest between Northern Ireland and Austria from Belfast.
Northern Ireland v Austria | Sunday 18th November 2018, 17:00 | Sky Sports
Northern Ireland played out a 0-0 draw with neighbours Republic of Ireland on Thursday, and they restricted Martin O’Neill’s side to very few chances. This will give them some confidence heading into this game at Windsor Park.
Michael O’Neill’s side have already been relegated from their league and Austria can no longer catch Bosnia, so this one’s a dead rubber. This should allow Northern Ireland to play with a bit of freedom and show the home fans what they can do.
Their games haven’t been particularly entertaining over the last year or so, and have seen Under 3.5 Goals land in all of their last 11 games. They’ve been pretty goal-shy of late too, scoring no goals in their last three games.
As I mentioned earlier, Austria can’t win promotion or get relegated from their league, so the Austrians will almost see this as a bit of an inconvenience. Their form has been poor of late and their 1-0 win over Northern Ireland in October is the only thing keeping them from getting relegated.
They don’t travel particularly well and have only beaten Luxembourg, Moldova and Georgia on the road since a disappointing Euro’s campaign in 2016. They’ve lost to Denmark, Bosnia, Wales and Serbia in that time, also drawing with Republic of Ireland too.
They don’t tend to see many goals in their games either and have seen Under 2.5 Goals land in their last five games. Under 3.5 Goals has landed in their last nine games too, so expect a low-scoring affair in Belfast.
The betting angle
I fancy Northern Ireland to get something here, especially in-front of a home crowd. They’re purely playing for pride, but I expect O’Neill will still demand that his players play like it’s a game with something riding on it.
Austria haven’t been particularly strong for a while now, and I don’t quite think they’ll be at the races here.
I’ve already listed the stats that underly why I think it’ll be a game lacking in goals and I think that’ll be reinforced by the fact that it’s a dead rubber.
So, I’ll be backing Northern Ireland double chance and Under 4 Goals on Bet 365, using their Bet Builder. It’s a reasonably skinny 10/11 but I think it should cop in Belfast on Sunday evening.
I’ll also have a small punt on the 0-0 draw which you can get at 15/2 with Betfred. It’s game that means nothing and I wouldn’t be surprised to see this land.
Northern Ireland v Austria – Northern Ireland double chance and Under 4 Goals (10/11 Bet365)
Northern Ireland v Austria – 0-0 correct score (15/2 Betfred)