The disappointment of missing out on the Russia game must have been tempered by the fact that Portugal only managed a draw in Tel Aviv that afternoon - a result that means Group F remains intriguingly balanced.
A timely first win under Michael O’Neill would bring the hosts to within two points of their opponents, but William Hill’s odds of 21/10 (3.10) suggest that this is easier said than done.
Eli Guttman’s side were just minutes away from victory against Cristiano Ronaldo and Co. on Friday, and are favourites at 13/10 (2.30) to emerge victorious at Windsor Park.
Three consecutive draws have hampered The Green and White Army’s World Cup ambitions, and you can get odds of 21/10 (3.10) on them playing out yet another stalemate in this match.
While a solid backline built around Johnny Evans, Gareth McAuley and Aaron Hughes has ensured that O’Neill’s charges have conceded a respectable five goals in their last five games, up front they have struggled to pose a threat.
The hosts will be wary of Israel’s prolific recent run, and are sure to try and replicate their gritty performance in the 1-1 draw against Portugal by keeping things as tight as possible.
A recent trip to lowly Luxembourg aside, the visitors have traditionally struggled for goals away from home, meaning a low-scoring affair looks likely.
A bet on under 2.5 goals would have paid out in each of Northern Ireland’s last five games, and is the obvious choice at odds of 4/7 (1.57) against a team that have only scored more than once on one of their last five away trips.
For longer odds, it is well worth backing this match to finish at one goal apiece at 11/2 (6.50), considering that has been the score line in each of the last three qualifiers for O’Neill’s team, as well as two of the guests’ last three on the road.
|Under 2.5 goals at 4/7 (1.57) with William Hill
||1-1 correct score at 11/2 (6.50) with William Hill
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Al Hain-Cole is a Liverpool fan, experienced tipster and avid follower of European football. He specialises in accumulators and if you would like to read more from Al you can follow him on Twitter here.