Northern Ireland v Belarus: Invest in Windsor Park snorefest

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Northern Ireland entertain Belarus in their final home fixture before Euro 2016 and it’s a friendly match that doesn’t look likely to produce too much in the way of goals.

The Green and White Army qualified very impressively for France, losing only once to top Group F from Romania, though they averaged only 1.6 goals per game.

Seven of those strikes came courtesy of Kyle Lafferty. Nevertheless, even the heroic centre-forward hasn’t bagged since September for his country and he finished a short-term loan spell at Birmingham with one goal in six games to end a hugely disappointing domestic campaign.

Opponents Belarus failed to qualify for the Euros, mainly because they found it far more difficult than Norn to find the net.

However, three straight 0-0 results leading into this clash at Windsor Park at least suggest they have tightened up greatly at the back, compared to the side who conceded just shy of 1.5 goals per game in qualifying.

All this could be enough to convince punters that backing a low-scoring affair is the pathway to profit.

It’s a very healthy 5/1 that the match ends in a fourth successive goalless draw for the Belarusians.

Safer bets may be found in the total goals market though. Under 2.5 goals, which would have landed in four successive matches involving the Iron, is justifiably short at 2/5, but 5/4 about under 1.5 is an odds upgrade worth taking.

With Michael O’Neill using the fixture to finalise his thoughts on personnel and tactics, before announcing his 23-man contingent, the temptation to experiment a little could also reduce the fluidity of his side.

If the Windsor Park net is to bulge then the late-season form of skipper Steven Davis is something to consider.

The Southampton midfielder finished the season by scoring three times in the final two matches and boasts three goals in his last five Northern Ireland appearances.

Davis is a 9/1 chance to break the deadlock and 19/5 to net any time.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Christian Crowther

Give Christian a sport with anything remotely spherical in it and he’ll happily while away the hours watching it on the box. However, he’d much prefer writing about, playing or betting on golf, football, cricket, tennis, snooker.... you get the picture.