NORTHERN IRELAND VS SWITZERLAND
- Northern Ireland have won 82% of their last 11 home games in all competitions, with less than three goals being scored in 56% of those victories.They have only conceded 3 home goals since 2016 which was to Germany in October 2017.
- Northern Ireland conceded just 6 goals in their 10 group matches. Five of those goals, were in their two losses to Germany. The only other team that managed to score past Northern Ireland were Norway, on the last day of the qualifiers.
- Both teams scored in just one of Northern Ireland’s ten qualification group stage games, for Switzerland, Both teams scored in just three of there ten qualification matches and they collected six clean sheets along the way.
Northern Ireland Previous five matches:
Norway vs Northern Ireland 1-0
Northern Ireland vs Germany 1-3
Northern Ireland vs Czech Republic 2-0
San Marino vs Northern Ireland 0-3
Azerbaijan vs Northern Ireland 0-1
Switzerland Previous five matches:
Portugal vs Switzerland 2-0
Switzerland vs Hungary 5-2
Latvia vs Switzerland 0-3
Switzerland vs Andorra 3-0
Faroe Islands vs Switzerland 0-2
HEAD TO HEAD
- Northern Ireland defeated Switzerland 2-0 at home in a World Cup qualifier more 50 years ago. They beat them again, 1-0, in a friendly game in 1998.
- Northern Ireland are very fluid in their set up so it remains to be seen whether they will start with a back five or back four on Thursday. Few changes are expected from Michael O’Neil, who should stick with the players that featured the most during the group phase.
- Unlike Northern Ireland, Switzerland do not tend to deviate from their 4-2-3-1 formation, which is expected here. A new partner for Fabian Schar will be needed at the heart of the Switzerland defence as Johan Djourou is not in the squad. Manuel Akanji is favourite to get the nod.
- Adding both of these teams are have high defensive strength, Under 2.5 goals will be my main pick for this fixture.
- MATCH GOALS UNDER 2.5 GOALS AT 1.40 SPORTPESA ODDS