Northern Ireland v Croatia Betting Preview – 15/11/16

Northern Ireland v Croatia Betting Preview – 15/11/16

WilliamHill Banner

Northern Ireland v Croatia Betting Preview – 15/11/16

In our Northern Ireland v Croatia betting preview we look at the best possible betting tips between the two sides.

On Tuesday evening this week in an International Friendly we see Ante Čačić take his Croatia side on the trip to Windsor Park in Belfast to face Michael O’Neill’s Northern Ireland. This one will be a close match and we’re expecting goals.

The home side Northern Ireland head into the visit of Croatia on the back of a busy week which sees them play their second match in the space of the last four days. This friendly will give them a good opportunity to give some fringe players a run out in between their World Cup Qualifiers. The Northern Irish were put into a group alongside Germany, Azerbaijan, Czech Republic, Norway and San Marino. They’ve had a solid start to their campaign so far which sees them sat in 2nd place in the group, with just Germany above them who are boasting a 100% record. Michael O’Neill’s side have played four times, won 2, drawn 1 and lost 1 from those 4. In their opening fixture they travelled to the Generali Arena in Prague to face Pavel Vrba’s Czech Republic side. The teams couldn’t be split as the Northern Irish claimed a solid point in a goalless draw to kick off their qualifying journey. Their second match saw them welcome Pierangelo Manzaroli’s San Marino outfit to Windsor Park and as expected came away with a comfortable win. Goals from Steven Davis, Jamie Ward and a brace from Kyle Lafferty gave them a 4-0 victory and their first of the group. Their third game was a trip to Stadium Hanover to face Joachim Low’s Germany who beat them 2-0 curtesy of goals from Julian Draxler and Sami Khedira.

Their most recent game was on Friday evening when they welcomed Robert Prosinečki’s Azerbaijan to Windsor Park who were unbeaten before hand having won 2 and drawn 1 from their opening three group games. The hosts took the lead on 27 minutes when a long throw in from the right found its way to Kyle Lafferty who hammered home first time. It was 2-0 just before half time when Gareth McAuley was unmarked at the back post to head home. Conor McLaughlin made it 3-0 on 66 minutes with a brilliant header from a corner and then Chris Brunt rounded off a solid performance with a fourth in the 83rd. His low drive went into the bottom right corner leaving the keeper with no chance.

The away side Croatia go into the trip to Northern Ireland also on the back of a busy few days which sees them play their second game in the space of the last three days. They were put into a group with Iceland, Ukraine, Turkey, Finland and Kosovo and are will definitely fancy themselves to qualify in top spot. They currently find themselves sat top of the group having not lost in their three fixtures, winning 2 and drawing one from those three. Their opening match saw them welcome Fatih Terim’s Turkey to Maksimir in Zagreb. Both of the goals came on the stroke of half-time with Croatia taking the lead thanks to a Ivan Rakitic penalty and then Hakan Calhanoglu levelled in stoppage time. The second half was goalless as both sides had to settle for a point. Their second game saw them travel to Loro Borici Stadium in Shkoder to face Albert Bunjaki’s Kosovo. A hat-trick from Mario Mandzukic and goals from Mitrovic, Perisic and Kalinic gave them a convincing 6-0 victory. 

Their third group game saw them travel to Tampere Stadium to face Mixu Paatelainen’s Finland outfit who were without a win from both of their group matches before this one. The only goal of the game came in the 18th minute when Mario Madzukic earned Croatia a solid away win. A great cross in from the right found the striker unmarked at the back post and he was left with the simplest of tasks to tap home. Croatia play on Saturday evening at home to Iceland in their fourth group match.

Recommended Bets:

Both teams to score (Best Priced on bet365 at 11/10) – BET HERE

Over 2.5 goals (Best Priced on betbright at 7/5) – BET HERE

Mario Mandzukic to score anytime (Best Priced on Coral at 7/4) – BET HERE

WilliamHill Banner

 Check out the rest of our International Betting Previews HERE

Watch the highlights from Northern Ireland’s 4-0 win over Azerbaijan here: