Northern Ireland - Portugal Betting Preview: Why the visitors should be backed in the half-time/full-time market

Our tipster believes Paulo Bento's men have been improving recently and should have little problem on Friday away from home
Portugal make the trip to Belfast this Friday hoping to continue their decent run of form and cement their place at the top of Group F. Paulo Bento's side are unbeaten in five games, having won three of their last four, during which time the only goal they have conceded has been against Netherlands.

After a few disappointing results early on in their campaign Portugal look a lot more solid and Betway offer them at 3/10 (1.30) for the win.

Northern Ireland for their part are playing for pride more than anything and one win in 14 matches inspires little confidence even if that result did come against Russia last time out. Michael O'Neill's men are available at 9/1 (10.00) with the draw offered at 4/1 (5.00).

Portugal, though, look to be getting into a kind of rhythm and should be backed in some way against a Northern Ireland side who have a truly appalling defensive record.

Prior to that astonishing win over Russia last month, Northern Ireland had gone seven home matches without a clean sheet (or indeed a win), with the likes of Estonia, Luxembourg and Azerbaijan all managing to find the back of the net.

Backing Portugal at half-time/full-time at 7/10 (1.70) looks like a solid option, with the Portuguese having scored in the first half of four of their last six games. A repeat should be good enough for this selection to pay out again.

Portugal half-time/full-time at 7/10 (1.70) 1.5 point stake with Betway

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Phil Kitromilides is a sports journalist and TV Presenter in Madrid