Ukraine vs Northern Ireland Betting Tips & Predictions

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Ukraine
Northern Ireland

Tip Reasoning

Ukraine were never expected to come away from their Euro 2016 opener on Saturday with anything, but they can be relatively pleased with how they performed against the world champions.

Shkodran Mustafi managed to open the scoring fairly early on with a 19th minute header, but Germany were troubled at the back at times. Yevhen Konoplyanka was a huge threat on the left wing as he led Ukraine on the attack. Manuel Neuer was forced into a few crucial saves and Jerome Boateng was required for a goal line clearance, but the lack of possession took it’s toll on the underdogs. Ukraine were visibly tired in the second half and substitute Bastian Schweinsteiger rounded the victory off with an injury time goal.

This ended Ukraine’s four match winning streak and six match unbeaten streak, but they will feel pleased at how they performed and confident of getting something from one of the two remaining matches.

Northern Ireland did look a bit out of their depth in their first ever European Championship match, but they remained well organised and limited Poland’s scoring opportunities. The first half ended goalless despite Poland registering ten shots on the Northern Irish goal thanks to some excellent defending from the underdogs. The inevitable came early in the second half as Arkadiusz Milik slotted home the opener, and there was no way back from there. Northern Ireland couldn’t muster up much attacking threat against the much stronger Poland, but they can take heart from the fact that they managed to limit Poland’s goals tally to one.

This ended Northern Ireland’s 12 match unbeaten streak and resigned them to just their 3rd defeat in the last two years, but the green army of Northern Ireland cans will take to the stands again on Thursday and continue to passionately support their team.

I would expect a few more bodies to be pushed forward against Ukraine though as their defence has had some issues recently. Ukraine have now conceded six goals in their last three games and have only kept three clean sheets in their last eight matches, whilst Northern Ireland have scored in eight of their last ten matches.

However, I can’t see the Northern Ireland defence being able to hold the Ukrainians out for the full 90 minutes, especially considering they have scored in 11 of their last 14 matches. This makes odds of 5/4 for Both Teams to Score look very good value, and I’m going for that along with a 2-1 Ukraine win at 8/1.

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