Northern Ireland will make their first-ever European Championships appearance when they take on Poland in Group C on Sunday evening. Michael O’Neill’s men are determined to make a positive impression at Euro 2016 and come into the tournament in high spirits having gone 12 matches without defeat – a national record.
However, Northern Ireland will need to be at their very best if they are to progress to the knockout stages and the match against Adam Nawalka’s men will provide a tough test for the boys from Belfast – the scale of the task reflected by the 5/1 (6.0) quote on offer from Paddy Power for O’Neill’s outfit to come out on top this weekend.
Poland have never won a match at the European Championships, but they are chalked up at just 4/6 (1.67) with Paddy Power to begin their campaign with three points this time around, while the same firm go 12/5 (3.40) that the match ends in stalemate.
In Robert Lewandowski, Poland boast, arguably, the best striker at the tournament amongst their ranks and the 27-year-old was in sensational form throughout the qualification campaign, netting 13 goals in 10 matches for his country.
Nawalka’s men were the continent’s top scorers in qualifying, racking up an impressive 33 goals from their 10 Group D fixtures and, if they can exhibit that kind of form in front of goal, they will surely be a force to be reckoned with this summer.
Northern Ireland’s Kyle Lafferty looks set to shrug off a groin complaint to take his place in the starting line-up this weekend and the availability of the 28-year-old striker will provide a massive fillip for O’Neill and his side, given that Lafferty contributed seven goals in qualifying.
Both of these sides were forced to settle for a goalless draw in their final warm-up fixture, as Poland were held at home by Lithuania, while Northern Ireland’s trip to Slovakia ended in stalemate, but history suggests that there will be goals when these two teams lock horns in Nice, for none of the previous nine meetings between these two nations has ended goalless.
Paddy Power go just 4/7 (1.57) that fewer than three goals are scored when these two teams go head-to-head, while the same firm offer just 4/6 (1.67) that either side fails to find the net. Better value, though, may lie in backing both teams to score at a juicy 11/10 (2.10) with Paddy Power ahead of this crucial clash.
Northern Ireland have found the net in eight of their last nine matches, while Poland are yet to keep a clean sheet in European Championships action but have scored in 17 of their last 19 outings. Punters are therefore advised to take a chance on Paddy Power’s generous 11/10 (2.10) quote for goals at both ends in this Group C curtain-raiser.
Those looking for further incentive to get involved should take advantage of Paddy Power's superb money back special on this match - simply bet £20 on a team to win the match and Paddy Power will pay you £5 for every goal that your team scores.
|Both teams to score at 11/10 (2.10) for a 2pt stake with Paddy Power|