Home Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland National Team logo
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08/09/2018 Kick Off:  2:00 pm Windsor Park V Predicted Score:1 - 1

Away Bosnia

Bosnia football logo for Betting.net previews
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Match Summary

1 Look out for:

The draw at 19/10 for this game with bet365 is an odds-against shout that we like the look of here. The home side very rarely lose at Windsor Park and win a lot of their games, but this Bosnia team have the ability to trouble them so they might take a more cautious approach to this match as it is the first of the campaign.

19/10 Draw
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2 We fancy:

Under 2.5 goals at 4/9 with Paddy Power is our best bet for this weekend. It is the first game either side has played and neither team will want to start their campaign with a defeat. Matches often see this bet result when Northern Ireland are involved at Windsor Park.

4/9 Under 2.5 goals
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3 It's a long shot, but…

Northern Ireland to win 1-0 could be worth a punt as a correct score prediction in this game at 6/1 with BetStars. The home side rarely score a lot of goals and we think it will be a tight match, so this bet could come into play nicely at a slightly bigger price.

6/1 Northern Ireland to win 1-0
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One to Watch: Miralem Pjanic

The Juventus playmaker is one of the best in his position in Europe and is a constant threat going forward, as is his set-piece delivery. Northern Ireland will need to ensure they do not give him the space as he has the ability to pick out a pass from anywhere. Therefore, the Green and White Army must put him under pressure as he is certainly the key player in the Bosnia team. He will also link up well with striker Edin Dzeko after they played together at Roma for a couple of seasons, so Michael O’Neill’s side have to watch out for them both.

Miralem Pjanic to assist a goal
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Team News

Northern Ireland National Team logo
Northern Ireland's Last Six:
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Michael O’Neill has no injury concerns ahead of this one and will be looking to name a strong side to get their Nations League campaign underway with a win.

Bosnia football logo for Betting.net previews
Bosnia's Last Six:
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Mehmed Bazdarevic also has the luxury of having no injury concerns ahead of this away fixture.

Northern Ireland vs Bosnia Betting Tips, Preview & Predictions

Will home advantage play into Northern Ireland’s favour?

In this UEFA Nations League preview, we will be looking ahead to the first fixture in League B Group 3 between Northern Ireland and Bosnia and Herzegovina at Windsor Park.

Northern Ireland come into this game after failing to qualify for the World Cup, following their harsh 1-0 defeat to Switzerland in the playoffs. Michael O’Neill’s side have been extremely strong in qualifying campaigns over the past few years, reaching Euro 2016 and coming so close to the World Cup. Their home of Windsor Park has been something of a fortress in recent years and with games coming up against Austria as well as Bosnia, they will be confident of winning this group.

As for the visitors this weekend, they come into this campaign with just six defeats in their last 25 games in all competitions, including friendlies, and have a good record in qualifying campaigns up to this point. They qualified for the 2014 World Cup top of their group, winning eight of their 10 games, dropping just five points on the way and missed out on the World Cup in the summer by two points and reached the playoff for the Euro 2016 Finals.

They are an experienced side with quality within their ranks and will be a decent match for this Northern Ireland side, who have frequently punched above their weight in the last few years. Their squad is starting to age now, especially the centre-backs, but they are also an experienced outfit who will be very tough to beat at home.

Looking at the fixture overall, the draw looks the best bet, currently at 19/10 with bet365. This is our first football prediction for this match as it looks a difficult game to call, with both sides having something in which you could base an argument around for a win. The home team have lost just five times in their last 21 fixtures at this ground, a run spanning over a four-year period, and those defeats came at the hands of Germany, twice, Portugal, Croatia and Switzerland. They are incredibly solid defensively, conceding just 17 times in that four-year spell.

Bosnia certainly have the stronger side on paper and they have enough quality within their ranks to win this game. but given the home side’s imperious form at Windsor Park you would not want to oppose them here.

Another of our Nations League predictions in this fixture is for under 2.5 goals at 4/9 with Paddy Power. Northern Ireland, as we have mentioned, are very solid wherever they go, but at home they have seen under 2.5 goals scored in 10 of their last 17. This is the first game either side has played in a few months, so both will be slightly rusty. Bosnia have also seen under 2.5 goals in four of their last six fixtures away from home, making this look another solid bet.

Northern Ireland will most likely allow the visitors to maintain possession of the ball and with the likes of Miralem Pjanic and Muhamed Besic, they have players who enjoy having the ball at their feet a lot. O’Neill’s troops are used to this and will be well rehearsed in playing on the counterattack, but these teams look too difficult to split here.

Predicted Score: Northern Ireland 1 - 1 Bosnia

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Written by Marcello Cossali-Francis

Marcello Cossali-Francis considers sport, particularly football and rugby, to be an essential part of life. A half-Italian half-Welsh Liverpool and Juventus fan, Marcello enjoys every high and every low that sport brings.