Wales vs N. Ireland – Speed recalls stars as Welsh look to end rot
They may be playing for the wooden spoon but there is more than pride at stake for the Welsh and Northern Irish sides.
Wales are on a six-match losing streak with Gary Speed desperate to taste his first victory as Wales manager, while Northern Ireland haven’t registered a win in seven and find themselves bottom of the Carling Nations Cup table on goal difference.
Wales have recalled Aaron Ramsey and Craig Bellamy to the side that lost 3-1 to Scotland and because of that they are the favourites at 4/5 to beat Northern Ireland.
Nigel Worthington has made five changes to the side that was trounced 5-0 by the Republic of Ireland on Tuesday night, but Northern Ireland’s only win over Wales came back in 1954 and the changes look unlikely to affect the outcome with Worthington’s side 7/2 to win.
The two sides have only met six times with Wales winning on two occasions, but the fact that the two have been inseparable in three of their head-to-heads, coupled with their current form, makes the draw the standout bet at 5/2.
Considering he’s a confirmed starter, Craig Bellamy looks a huge price at 6/1 to get the first goal although goals may come at a premium on Friday night.
Wales have scored just twice in their last six games while Northern Ireland have just three in their last seven and under 2.5 goals looks the banker at 8/13.
The 1-1 draw is the favoured result at 11/2 but the 0-0 draw is a very tempting 8/1 considering Craig Bellamy is the only Premier League representative in the forward line for either side.
Wales are 1/1 to keep a clean sheet with Northern Ireland 11/4 to do the same.
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