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Ukraine v Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland v Ukraine Betting: Underdogs capable of taking at least a point

19:24 SAST 2016/06/15
Kyle Lafferty Northern Ireland Hungary
Neither side sparkled in their opening game, but our tipster fancies Michael O'Neill's stuffy side to take something from Thursday's tussle against Mikhail Fomenko's men

Ukraine and Northern Ireland were both beaten in their opening Group C fixtures and will be determined to get back to winning ways when they lock horns.

Michael O’Neill’s men slumped to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Poland in their first ever appearance at the European Championship and, having failed to register a single shot on target against Adam Nawalka’s men, the boys from Belfast know that they will need to show much more ambition this time around.

However, the enormity of the task facing Northern Ireland is reflected by Betway’s chunky 13/2 (7.50) quote for O’Neill’s charges to claim a historic victory, while the same firm go 12/5 (3.40) for a draw.

Ukraine have never progressed past the group stages of this competition but Mikhail Fomenko’s side are chalked up as Betway’s 8/15 (1.53) favourite to take a significant stride towards achieving that objective by picking up three points from this match.

The Green and White Army had gone 12 matches without defeat prior to being beaten by Poland on Sunday, however, and having conceded just two goals in their last six matches they will be determined to bounce back in Lyon.

Furthermore, the last two meetings between these two nations have ended in goalless draws and those expecting a glut of goals could well be left disappointed. Indeed, Betway go 8/13 (1.62) that fewer than three goals are scored in this match, while the odds compilers offer just 4/7 (1.57) on either side failing to find the net.

Ukraine have scored in six of their last seven matches but both Andriy Yarmolenko and Yevhen Konoplyanka looked out of sorts during Sunday’s showdown against the Germans and Fomenko will hope that his star duo can return to form in this fixture.

Northern Ireland possess a genuine goal threat themselves having scored in eight of their last 10 matches and will be hoping that star striker Kyle Lafferty, who scored seven goals during the qualification campaign, can make his mark on the tournament having been starved of service against Poland.

O’Neill’s outfit face Germany in their final group fixture and will be acutely aware of the importance of this match as they battle for a place in the last 16 of the competition but the boys from Belfast are undoubtedly capable of avoiding defeat against Fomenko’s men.

Punters are advised to take a chance on Northern Ireland at a juicy 6/4 (2.50) in Betway’s "Draw No Bet" market ahead of this crucial clash. This will see stakes returned if the game finishes all square.

The selection would have paid dividends in 15 of the last 18 matches that the Green and White Army have contested and, with Ukraine unconvincing, the 6/4 (2.50) quote is worthy of support again ahead of Thursday’s tussle.

Northern Ireland to win or draw at 6/4 (2.50) for a 1pt stake with Betway