It can be almost said that everything was resolved in this play-off match after the first leg given that the Swiss triumphed in Belfast by 1-0. Still, the second match has to be played and Northern Ireland will surely not surrender in advance although they are known as team that prefers to play at home. Switzerland won all qualifiers played at home, while Northern Ireland has three-game losing streak, including qualifiers. The last match between the two teams was friendly and ended as goalless draw.
The Swiss did a great job in the 1st leg when they showed on the pitch that are better team than Northern Ireland. Gol scored from penalty kick was definitely a gift from referee but if we take a realistic view at all what happened on the pitch their victory is well deserved. Even if the match ended 0-0 the Swiss would probably win the 2nd leg with such play and qualify for Russia, however, they have to very careful now and must not relax.
We’ll go back at the qualification in which Switzerland shined till the last round but thanks to unfortunate circumstance they had to go through the play-off despite winning nine matches. They did harder part of the job and coach Petkovic had sent on the pitch in Belfast pretty much expected team where only Zuber was kind of surprise as he played instead of Mehmedi. Due to injuries Djourou and Moubandje are out of action, while now we expect to see a team similar like in the first leg, except for Mehmedi who might get chance.
Northern Ireland is angry at referees after the first match and it can be said rightly so, but they should also focus on how they played, which was poorly. This team played well for the bigger part of qualification and was especially solid at home where it won all its opponents till penultimate round. Germany put an end to the positive series. The Germans outplayed them and Northern Irish could find console in fact that they lost to reigning champions of world.
After that defeat come the one in Norway. Two consecutive defeats had shaken morale of the team which was felt in the match with the Swiss. They could have lost by higher goal difference in the end and it is a great unknown what they can do now in the 2nd leg. Coach O’Neill didn’t experiment with the team in the first match and Northern Ireland was a bit more offensive than usually with Magennis and K. Lafferty. Now, C. Evens cannot play due to suspension, while Dallas is questionable, which means O’Neill will make at least two changes compared to the first leg.
Switzerland has chance that team of such quality shouldn’t drop, especially if Northern Ireland plays weakly as in the 1st leg. We expect another domination of the Swiss and new victory that will qualify them for the World Cup.
Bet Type: Total Goals
Selection: Under 2.5
Best Odds: 1.65 at
Stake: 2% bankroll (40 Units)
Date/Time: 12-Nov-2017 18:00 CET
Event Result: 0:0(0:0)
Profit: +26.00 Units