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Friendly International: Wales vs Northern Ireland preview

Kick-off: Thursday, 24 March @19:45 GMT

Venue: Cardiff City Stadium (Cardiff)

Live Stream: fuboTV (US), bet365 (non-US)

Head to head record

Wales vs Northern Ireland 2-0 (2011 Nations Cup)
Northern Ireland vs Wales 0-0 (2007 Friendly International)
Northern Ireland vs Wales 2-3 (2006 World Cup qualifiers)
Wales vs Northern Ireland 2-2 (2006 World Cup qualifiers)
Wales vs Northern Ireland 2-0 (Euro 1968 qualifiers)

Wales vs Northern Ireland prediction

Wales will be aiming to bounce back from a 3-2 loss to Netherlands when they take on Northern Ireland at Cardiff City Stadium in yet another warm-up game for the Euro 2021 finals. The Green and White Army suffered their last defeat on 25 March, 2015 and they are brimming with confidence ahead of the trip to Wales.

No Bale, no Ramsey

Wales participated at the 1958 World Cup finals in Sweden, with the team reaching the quarter-finals of the showpiece tournament. However, they have not been playing at the major tournaments ever since. The Dragons, though, did remarkably well to book their place at Euro 2021, with the team reaching the European Championship finals for the first time ever. Chris Coleman’s troops suffered a 3-2 loss to Netherlands in their first warm-up game and they will be looking to return to winning ways when they host Northern Ireland at their Cardiff City Stadium on Thursday evening. Seeing that Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey both miss the game, a man to watch in the home team will be Liverpool midfielder Joe Allen.

James Collins misses the match with a hamstring injury, while midfielder Andy King is sidelined through illness. Ben Davies is included, but he will be monitored ahead of the kick-off. Gareth Bale is out of contention as his wife is soon to give birth to their second child. Arsenal ace Aaron Ramsey is yet another absentee in the home team (injury).

Eight-game unbeaten run

Northern Ireland will participate at the 2016 European Championship finals as well and, no doubt, the Green and White Army have big ambitions for the tournament in France. Michael O’Neill’s troops were impressive in the qualifiers and they did well to beat Latvia at the start of their preparations for Euro 2021 finals. Northern Ireland are on a seven-game unbeaten run ahead of the Wales game and no doubt the visitors are high on confidence at the moment. Kyle Lafferty scored seven goals on the road to France and he is likely to prove a handful for the opposition defenders. Anyhow, Michel O’Neill, who signed a new four-year deal with Northern Ireland, is likely to use Thursday’s clash to test as many players as possible.

Paul Paton has been struggling to find his form of late and, as a result, he failed to make the squad. Uncapped duo Michael Smith and Conor Washington have received call-ups, while Chris Baird is sidelined with injury. Chris Brunt remains on the sidelines with a long-term injury.

Quick Facts

  • Wales suffered only one loss in previous nine home fixtures
  • Dragons managed to keep a clean sheet in previous two meetings with NI
  • Northern Ireland recorded their last win over Wales back in 1954
  • Green and White Army are on a seven-match unbeaten run
  • Under 2.5 goals were scored in three of Northern Ireland’s last four matches

Wales vs Northern Ireland betting tip

Seeing that Wales will be without their star players Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey in Thursday’s friendly, I do not believe that we will see goals galore at Cardiff City Stadium. Both sides were impressive at the back in the Euro 2021 qualifiers and there is every chance we will see a low-scoring affair in Cardiff. In previous two meetings between the two teams two goals in total were scored.

Tip: Under 2.5 goals

Odds: 1.60 (3/5) @Unibet

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Daily Specials

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Italy v Spain Morata to score & Spain to win is 5/1 Claim @19:45

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