Bulgaria vs Northern Ireland Predictions

  • 18:45
  • Expired
  • Vasil Levski National Stadium
Bulgaria
Northern Ireland
  • Sky Sports Football

Northern Ireland to Win

19/10odds when tipped
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Northern Ireland 1-0

6/1odds when tipped
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Tip Reasoning

  • Bulgaria have lost five of their last seven home qualifiers
  • The hosts have been beaten in half of their games in this qualifying group
  • Northern Ireland have picked up wins at Lithuania and Estonia this year

Northern Ireland hopes dashed

A 2-0 loss to Switzerland has left Northern Ireland to miss out on another international tournament, as they’ve fallen six points shy of second after that defeat. The Ulstermen put on a brave showing, but Jamal Lewis receiving a first half red card ended it as a contest.

Now manager Ian Baraclough has to pick up his side after that demoralising loss and he needs to coax them into picking up three points away to Bulgaria. Can the visitors restore some pride with a victory?

Bulgaria out to prove a point

The hosts picked up a 0-0 draw in Belfast back in March, the first result which heaped pressure onto Baraclough. Those two dropped points were a hammer blow to NI’s chances of making it to Qatar.

Bulgaria will be looking to follow up on that with another positive result given that they have home advantage. However, they’re fresh from a 3-1 defeat at Lithuania in their last qualifier. With the visitors short on morale and given Bulgaria’s patchy record, the bookies can’t split these two in the betting.

NI the value after away success

Bulgaria may have taken a point from Belfast but they’ve lost three of their six games in this group. They head into this one having lost five of their last seven home qualifiers, which should allow Baraclough’s men the chance to claim a victory.

Northern Ireland have faced the Swiss in back-to-back games, with both of those games putting the gulf between the pair on full display. However, NI have picked up results in more winnable games of late, claiming victories at Estonia and Lithuania. We see this clash going the same way as the visitors start building for the future.

A Northern Ireland victory is my first prediction, while I see the visitors coming away with a narrow 1-0 win given how close the reverse fixture was.

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