Northern Ireland host Estonia in their first Euro 2020 qualifier on Thursday, and our predictions are pointing towards a win for the home team.
After having the misfortune to be drawn in the same group as the revitalised Netherlands, and in transition Germans, a home fixture against Estonia is simply must win.
Northern Ireland V Estonia Betting
Michael O’Neill's Northern Ireland team start the match as strong favourites. They are just 4/11 with Betfair in 90 minutes betting. The draw is 29/10, with Estonia at 15/2.
Not too many goals are predicted here, Under 2.5 goals is currently just 9/20 (over 2.5 is 31/20). In the both teams to score market, you can get 15/8. Both teams not to score is as low as 4/11 with some layers, suggesting we are not going to be getting a classic.
Northern Ireland V Estonia Predictions
Northern Ireland simply have to win this match if they harbour any of the slightest of hopes of finishing in the top 2 of a group that includes Netherlands and Germany. The pressure will be on O'Neill's team already because of this.
Will Grigg isn't in the squad having returned home, and Olly Norwood is also missing. Recent results have seen a 3-0 win over Israel in a friendly, but they lost their last 3 competitive UEFA Nations League fixtures in a row.
There were two away defeats, 1-0 to Austria, 2-0 to Bosnia-Herzegovina, both last October. Previous to that they lost a UEFA Nations League match 2-1 at home to Austria.
Despite being ranked down at 96 in the FIFA rankings, Estonia's recent results haven't been too bad. They managed a credible draw away to Iceland, and a 2-1 away win over Finland in two recent friendlies.
In competitive action, their last two UEFA Nations League matches were a 1-0 win away at Greece, and a 2-0 defeat away to Hungary.
Despite all this, I can still see Northern Ireland having too much for the Estonians, and I can see Northern Ireland winning 1-0 or 2-0.
NORTHERN IRELAND TO WIN 1-0 OR 2-0