Buoyed by their first ever win at the European Championships, Northern Ireland go into their final Group C fixture against world champions Germany brimming with belief.
Michael O’Neill’s side claimed a historic 2-0 victory against Ukraine in their last outing and three points against Joachim Low’s men would ensure the Green and White Army of a place in the knockout stages of the competition.
Germany, though, are not assured of top spot in the group following a goalless draw against Poland last time out and Die Mannschaft will be determined to pick up all three points from their meeting with O’Neill’s men.
Low’s charges have won the last four meetings between these two teams, scoring 14 goals and conceding just two, and they are strong favourites to enjoy a fifth successive triumph against the boys from Belfast, with bet365 offering just 3/10 (1.30) that Germany enhance their hopes of topping the section with a win in Paris.
Indeed, the enormity of the task facing Northern Ireland is reflected by bet365’s 12/1 (13.0) quote for the underdogs to claim a famous victory, while the odds compilers offer 9/2 (5.50) that the Germans are forced to settle for a share of the spoils for a second successive match.
Northern Ireland have lost just one of their last 14 matches and, having conceded just one goal in their last five games, O’Neill will hope that his side’s impressive defensive discipline will give them a chance of upsetting the odds here.
However, the Germans have scored in 14 of their last 16 matches at the European Championships, while they were the top scoring team in Brazil two years ago with 18 goals, memorably putting seven past Brazil at the semi-final stage of the competition.
Germany can be backed at just 5/6 (1.83) to beat Northern Ireland by two or more goals and, given the apparent gulf in class between the two teams, that may well prove to be a popular selection with punters, but Northern Ireland have been beaten by a margin greater than a single goal in just one of their last 19 outings.
Better value, therefore, lies in backing the favourites to win to nil against the Green and White Army at 5/6 (1.83) with bet365. Northern Ireland have failed to find the net in any of their last seven defeats and O’Neill’s outfit may well struggle to make their mark again when they go head-to-head with the world champions in Paris.
Defensive discipline underpins Germany's success on the international stage and having kept a clean sheet in each of their last three fixtures the 5/6 (1.83) quote from bet365 for Die Mannschaft to win to nil is the recommended play for punters ahead of Tuesday’s tussle.