NORTHERN IRELAND’S display against Poland was disappointing but you can understand why Michael O’Neill played for a point.
He must have a thought a draw against Poland and win over Ukraine would be their best chance of qualifying.
Unfortunately his defence was breached once and he couldn’t change it well enough to threaten the Pole goal with his side having no shots on target.
If O’Neill thought his side were on a par with Ukraine he maybe got a shock watching them perform well against Germany.
They created plenty of chances in a 2-0 defeat and the match was only sealed with the last kick of the game.
Once thing’s certain – the Irish must improve and try to provide more support for lone striker Kyle Lafferty who is 4-1 at bet365 to score. Andriy Yarmolenko is Ukraine’s dangerman and is 5-1 at Coral to break the deadlock.
Ukraine are a best 3-5 with 888sport which is a little on the skinny side and it’s worth noting the last two meetings between these sides finished goalless.
Old rivals Germany and Poland meet in the other game with both having a win under their belt. In that case a draw would suit each side but I don’t think the world champions will play for one.
They were in Scotland’s qualifying group with Poland winning 2-0 in Warsaw but I have to side with the Germans on the evidence of the openers.
Again best bet could be over 2.5 goals at 4-5 with bet365 as Germany usually conceded and had keeper Manuel Neuer to thank – as well as an amazing goalline clearance form Jerome Boateng – for keeping out Ukraine.
Poland possess a bigger threat in front of goal with star man Robert Lewandowksi trumped by Arkadiusz Milik against the Irish.
Lewandowski stars for Bayern Munich and will be hoping to make a bigger impact. He is 9-4 at NetBet to score.
Thomas Muller had a quiet game against Ukraine but is favoured German to score at 5-4 with 888sport.
Bets to Consider
Ukraine v Nth Ireland HT 0-0
Germany v Poland over 2.5 goals