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Prediction: Northern Ireland vs Austria

SoccerPredictions in Free Soccer Predictions 16 Nov 2018

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Verdict: Under 1.5 goals

Best Odds: 49/20

Bookmaker: 888sport

Confidence will be low in the Northern Ireland camp ahead of the Nations League clash against Austria on Sunday. The hosts have lost any chance of avoiding relegation to League C of the competition and will only play for prestige against the second-placed side.

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland is one of only four countries not to win a single point at this stage of the UEFA Nations League and the final match of the group phase of the competition bring no competitive significance for the hosts.

The Green and White Army is going down a tier regardless of the result and the only thing they have left to play for is their pride. One goal scored in three Nations League matches – and five conceded – is a terrible record for Michael O’Neill’s men who once again failed to get on the score sheet this week. Northern Ireland are coming off from a bruising 0-0 stalemate against the bitter rivals Republic of Ireland this week. The Thursday clash was the first time two Irelands met in last seven years and what we’ve seen was a feisty friendly and a fractious stalemate. The fact that Northern Ireland have now won only two of their last 12 games gives them little to hope for against a quality Austrian side.

Team News

The Northern Ireland boss decided to promote three Under-21 players to the senior squad – Celtic goalkeeper Conor Hazard, winger Paul Smyth and midfielder Jordan Thompson – who will hope to get a run in this match.

Liam Donnely was also expected to join in but he is unavailable due to an injury. On the other side, winger Niall McGinn returns after missing the last set of internationals through injury.

Austria

A disappointing week is behind Austria who failed to remain in the running for League B Group 3 top spot after a goalless draw against Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Bosnians now have 10 points from four games and will be promoted further in the competition while Austria remains in second with four points to their name. Austria missed a couple of chances in a must-win game and will now travel to Northern Ireland with their spirits low after missing on a great chance to challenge for promotion. Austria’s draw with Bosnia was the first stalemate this year. Irrespective of the lack of a competitive edge, the Austrians will be looking to maintain their positive run which saw them register six clean sheets in last ten matches. Austria already beat Northern Ireland in the reverse fixture and all eyes will once again be on West Ham forward Marko Arnautovic who scored the winner back in October.

Team News

Regardless of the lack of importance, Austria are expected to name the strongest side.

Marko Arnautovic will lead the line together with Peter Zulj, Valentino Lazaro and Alessandro Schoph.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Northern Ireland has zero points in three Nations League matches
  • O’Neill’s men failed to score in any of their last 3 matches
  • Hosts won only one of their last 7 games in all competitions
  • Austria kept six clean sheets in the last 10 outings
  • Last four meetings of two sides in Northern Ireland produced three or more goals

Conclusion

A look at the head-to-head stats might be enough to suggest the game between Northern Ireland and Austria will be rich in goals but the teams’ respective forms clearly suggest otherwise. Both sides lack motivation, however, and this might end up being an uneventful affair after all.

Verdict: Under 1.5 goals

Best Odds: 49/20

Bookmaker: 888sport

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