Euro 2016 betting: Battling point won’t suit either Northern Ireland or Ukraine

Ben Cleminson
Kyle Lafferty ploughed a lone furrow in attack against Poland (Source: Getty)

Northern Ireland’s Euro 2016 adventure continues on Thursday as they take on Ukraine in Lyon at 5pm.

Beaten 1-0 by Poland on Sunday, but certainly not disgraced, getting something against the Ukrainians represents their best chance of progressing from Group C.

Michael O’Neill’s side came into the tournament on the back of a 12-match unbeaten run – the longest streak of any side in the competition.

A stout five-man defence frustrated a strong Polish side for long spells, with feared striker Robert Lewandowski getting no change out of Gareth McAuley and Jonny Evans.

Northern Ireland’s defensive capabilities are unquestioned, but their lack of attacking impetus will be a cause for concern for the travelling green and white army.

They only mustered one shot over the 90 minutes as Kyle Lafferty ploughed a lone furrow up front.

They meet a Ukraine side who had similar problems against Germany in their opening clash.

Against the world champions, Ukraine only managed 31 per cent possession and, when they did have the ball, they never looked like scoring.

Their 2-0 defeat came as little surprise.

A draw doesn’t really suit either team, but I think that’s what we’ll get.

That’s 14/5 with Betway, which looks a good price to me.

Northern Ireland’s unbeaten pre-tournament run only took in four sides who qualified for the Euros – and all of those matches ended in draws.

I fear both sides lack a cutting edge, leading me to suggest selling goals at 2.25 with Sporting Index.


Draw 14/5 (Betway)

Sell total goals 2.25 (Sporting Index)

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