Portugal - Northern Ireland Betting Preview: Slow-starting hosts can be trusted to pick up points

Paulo Bento's men suffered a disappointing defeat in Russia on Friday night but Willie Duncan expects them to bounce back in winning style against Northern Ireland
Portugal suffered their first defeat of World Cup 2014 qualifying, when they slipped to a 1-0 defeat in Russia on Friday night, but the Seleccao will be targeting victory over Michael O’Neill’s Northern Ireland on Tuesday night.

The hosts are massive favourites to pick up all three points, with Paddy Power rating them as 1/9 (1.11) chances to secure a win in Porto.

Northern Ireland have picked up just one point – a home draw with minnows Luxembourg – from the opening two games of their qualification campaign and, subsequently, the visitors are chalked up at a massive 20/1 (21.0) with Paddy Power to emerge victorious from theor trip to Portugal.

The same firm go 7/1 (8.0) that the match ends in a draw.

O’Neill’s squad has been depleted by a number of withdrawals ahead of Tuesday night’s clash and a long night looks likely for the Green and White Army.

Portugal, though, laboured to a slender 2-1 win over Luxembourg last month while a 3-0 home victory over Azerbaijan was only sealed by two goals in the last five minutes and Northern Ireland may fancy their chances of, at least, avoiding a heavy defeat here.

With that in mind, Paddy Power’s 4/7 (1.57) quote for Northern Ireland (+3) in the handicap market is worthy of consideration.

It should also be noted that four of Portugal’s five goals in qualification so far have come in the second half so Paddy Power’s 5/4 (2.25) quote for Paulo Bento’s men to open the scoring after the 21st minute looks to be outstanding value and should be backed accordingly.

Michael O’Neill’s men are unlikely to pose a serious goal threat and, thus, the tempting 9/2 (5.50) available from Paddy Power for the hosts to ease to a comfortable 2-0 victory should be snapped up those looking to squeeze extra value from the betting market here.

Portugal to score the first goal after the 21st minute at 5/4 (2.25) with Paddy Power
Portugal to win 2-0 at 9/2 (5.50) with Paddy Power

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Willie Duncan is a freelance sports journalist. Willie, from Edinburgh, has covered Scottish football for over 10 years and he specialises in football betting markets from across Europe. You can also follow Willie on Twitter

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