Wales vs Northern Ireland Prediction
Euro 2016 Knockout Stage Betting Lines Comparison
By Matt Pitt
Despite losing to England 2-1, Wales topped Group B with six points thanks to beating both Slovakia and Russia, the latter being hammered by three goals to nil, securing first place in the group.
On paper, Wales should win this match and continue their march towards glory. Bookmakers around the world think the same, pricing Wales at +100 compared to +400 for a Northern Ireland win, and +200 for the draw.
Gareth Bale is the tournament’s joint top goal scorer with three goals thanks to having scored in all three group games. Bale is +320 to score first in this upcoming fixture, and +140 to score at anytime, which looks a value bet considering his current form.
Although much of Wales’ positive play revolves around Bale, Chris Coleman’s squad has some very capable players in it.
The likes of Aaron Ramsey, Hal Robson-Kanu, Sam Vokes, Ben Davies, and Ashley Williams form a solid spine throughout the team, and I believe will help push Wales through to the next round.
Northern Ireland have performed miracles on the pitch at Euro 2016 and are rapidly becoming the neutral fan’s favorite team. They were one of the best place third-place teams in the tournament, no mean feat considering they had Germany, Poland, and Ukraine in their group.
It was Ireland’s 2-0 win over Ukraine that bagged them the points needed to reach the round of 16, but to beat Wales they are going to need that attacking ability combined with the defensive performance they showed by limiting Germany to a single goal.
As a defensive unit, Northern Ireland are superb, but they need the likes of Kyle Rafferty, who was immense during qualification, to find his goal scoring boots.
Perhaps the stage is set for Will Grigg to net a goal, sending the green army of fans into their world famous song?
I think this fixture will be settled by a single goal, with 1-0 Wales available at +400. I would not be surprised to see this game go to extra time, and Wales are -227 to progress if you include extra time and penalties.