Northern Ireland takes on the visitors Switzerland at “Windsor Park” in the first-leg clash of the Europe’s Qualifiers Play Offs for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia. The match will be played in Belfast on Thursday, November 9th.
Northern Ireland is a solid tough side which has substantially improved its game in recent years: “Norn Iron” has fully deserved qualification to the UEFA EURO 2016 final stage and showed great results there as for the debutant, having promoted to the Play Offs battles in advance. Besides, all football fans are well acknowledged with a remarkably strong performance of the Northern Irish in front of their supporters in recent years. The side has recorded one single loss in five home battles of the Europe’s Qualifiers Group stage for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia. And it should be mentioned that this failure to the Germans had no value in terms of further promotion with four other encounters at the home pitch ended with triumphs with 12:0 aggregated score. It is quite curious that last time Northern Ireland was defeated in face of its fans by Portugal in September 2013 within the Europe’s Qualifiers Group stage for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
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In their turn, Switzerland didn’t impress by its performance in qualification Group B. It is clear that the team’s supporters were highly satisfied with the victory over Portugal, but currently it is more important how it played on the road. The Swiss’ triumphs over Latvia, Faroe Islands, Hungary and Andorra at away pitches cannot be seen as the serious indicators of the side’s strength. Moreover, Switzerland managed to beat Hungary and Andorra with just one-goal margin.
Basing on the teams’ roster, Switzerland is considered to be the favourite in this pair, nevertheless, Northern Ireland surely gives a fight to the forthcoming opponent and at least it will not lose at the home field. There is a high possibility of getting a draw in the upcoming battle as both rivals will be extremely accurate because of the great value of each mistake. However, chances that the hosts will not fail are much higher.
Prediction for the match: Northern Ireland to win with +0.5 Asian handicap (1X).