Northern Ireland will have to bring to an end their barren sequence in front of goal if they are to get their qualifying campaign for Euro 2012 off to the perfect start with victory in Slovenia.
Nigel Worthington’s team have failed to score in any of their last seven outings and have been beaten in all five games since failing to qualify for this year’s World Cup.
However, the incentives are there to end this run as they kick-off their Group C charge against Slovenia in the hope of qualifying for their first European Championship finals.
Northern Ireland, who are 9/2 to collect the three points in Slovenia, have had particular troubles winning games on the road in recent years, as their only victory in their last 14 away fixtures has been against San Marino.
Furthermore, they have only managed one goal in their last seven away games, which came in a 1-1 draw with Poland.
Meanwhile, Ireland suffered a 2-0 reverse in Slovenia during qualifying for the World Cup, although both goals were scored in the final six minutes.
Milivoje Novakovic opened the scoring in this game and is 9/2 to do so again, while he can be backed at 6/5 to find the net at any time in the 90 minutes.
Slovenia’s only defeat in their last seven games came in a 1-0 reverse against England during the World Cup and since being eliminated from the tournament they have beaten Australia.
They also were unbeaten at home during qualifying for the World Cup, when winning four of their five games.
Slovenia are 4/6 to beat Northern Ireland and 6/1 to repeat the 2-0 success from their World Cup qualifying encounter. See the whole Slovenia vs Northern Ireland correct scoreline market.