N Ireland v Russia Betting Odds, Preview and Predictions

Northern Ireland try to play catch up in Group F


N Ireland v Russia Betting Preview 
While other countries are off swanning themselves in international friendlies this week, for Northern Ireland and Russia, there is 2014 World Cup qualifying duties which need attending to. The two sides are behind in fixtures in the group, but there is a massive nine point difference between the two, with Russia pushing for a place in next summer’s finals, in contrast to Northern Ireland, who are floundering without a win.

N Ireland v Russia Betting Odds at online bookmakerBet365 
Russia 4/11, Draw 10/1, Northern Ireland 17/2

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N Ireland v Russia Betting Tips: 
It hasn’t been very easy for Northern Ireland in Group F of 2014 World Cup qualifying. They were drawn in a pretty tough group, alongside Portugal, Russia and Israel, and so far it has told on them. The Irish have not recorded a win in their opening five matches, but they have taken away three draws, most impressively the 1-1 draw which they battled and earned out in Portugal. However, there have been massive disappointments from the Irish in taking draws only against Azerbaijan and Luxembourg, instead of managing to pick up all three points in those important games. So now the second half of qualification begins and while they are mathematically still in with a chance of hitting Brazil 2014, it is unlikely.

Northern Ireland kicked off their qualifying in Russia and were battling so very well until the 78th minute, when Russia scored a controversial penalty to take a 2-0 lead. That killed off the game and left the Irish fuming. Still, there have been other big chances for them to get points on the board, but they have just gone begging. Northern Ireland have drawn three of their last four matches, taking a point of Azerbaijan and then Portugal in World Cup qualifying and then only managing a 0-0 away draw in a friendly against Malta in February. Their last match came in March, when they were beaten 2-0 at home by Israel in World Cup 2014 qualifying. Getting on the scoresheet is a glaring problem for Northern Ireland.

The picture is looking a lot brighter for Russia who trail Group F leaders Portugal by two points, but who have two games in hand over Cristiano Ronaldo and co. With an expected win for the Russians over Northern Ireland in the week, they should take a firm grip of proceedings in the group. Russia boss Fabio Capello does have selection issues though, and several issues has forced him to draft in some fresh faces to his squad, including the in form Artem Dzyuba, who has netted six goals in his opening four matches for Rostov in the Russian Premier League season. That may make him worth a shout in the First Goalscorer market at odds of 9/2 with online bookmaker Bet365.

Only a loss in their last outing, a 1-0 defeat in Lisbon to Portugal has interrupted some great form, as they were on an eight match unbeaten streak since exiting Euro 2012 in the group stage. Even with changes, they should have enough in the tank to take out Northern Ireland, and a Russia two goal winning margin is offered at decent odds of 3/1 with Bet365.

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