On Tuesday night, Germany host Northern Ireland in Group C of qualifying for the European Championships.
Germany (Odds of 1/6 for victory)
The home side sealed their spot at Euro 2020 last time out by recording a 4-0 home win over Belarus last time out. The victory paired with Northern Ireland’s 0-0 draw against the Netherlands saw Die Mannschaft confirm their place at next years tournament.
The combined results also meant that Germany moved two points clear of the Netherlands in the race to finish in top spot. A victory in this clash would seal top spot for Joachim Low’s team.
Germany has a good recent record in qualifying for the European Championships, having recorded victories in seven of their last eight qualifiers. Those wins have seen the home side produce stellar performances both in defence and attack.
Low’s side has scored at least two goals in their last eight qualifiers, while also keeping clean sheets in seven of those eight matches. Their only blip was a 4-2 home defeat by the Netherlands earlier in the group stage.
Die Mannschaft have won 11 of their last 13 qualifiers on home soil, including five of their last six outings. They have also scored at least two goals in their last six qualifiers on home soil.
Northern Ireland (Odds of 14/1 for victory)
The visitor’s dream of automatic qualification from the group ended with that aforementioned draw with the Netherlands. However, they will now take part in the play-offs in March. Michael O’Neill’s team have certainly not been overwhelmed by their opponents in Group C and will be confident of making it to Euro 2020 through the play-offs.
The visitors head into this clash on the back of a three-game winless run which ultimately ended their hopes of automatic qualification. Those games were against the two top teams in the group, though, so they were not easy matches.
Northern Ireland have been difficult to beat of late in qualifying, suffering just two defeats in their last 13 outings dating back to 2015. Both of those defeats have been in their last three qualifiers.
A 3-1 defeat in the Netherlands in their last away qualifier ended a four-game unbeaten run on their travels in qualifying for the visitors. Despite not always being prolific in the international game in recent years, Northern Ireland have scored in seven of their last eight qualifiers on their travels. They have also only kept one clean sheet in their last six away matches in qualifying.
On paper, Germany are a far superior team to Northern Ireland. However, under Michael O’Neill, the visitors have become a team that is far greater than the sums of their parts, overachieving considering the players available to O’Neill.
We do believe that Germany will have too much quality for the visitors. At the current odds though, they are not worth backing. Even the under/over market offers little value. One bet that does potentially offer value is the half time draw/Germany bet at odds of 11/4. Northern Ireland showed in their recent games that they can hold the groups top two for periods, so this may not be a terrible bet.
Verdict: Back the draw/Germany at odds of 11/4 (All odds taken from Bet365).
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Will Germany seal top spot in Group C with win over Northern Ireland?