September 26, 2022 Sports Betting
Prior to their Tuesday UEFA Nations League trip to Greece, Northern Ireland is anxious about their standing in League C.
After winning their first four games of the recent season, the hosts have already received promotion to League B.
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Greece vs Northern Ireland Tips and Prediction
Greece will feel that they are finally ready to compete on the European scene at a level more appropriate for their quality and pedigree after failing to advance from League C in each of the previous two Nations League seasons.
The Euro 2004 champions came into this tournament determined to make a statement. They won each of their first four games without giving up a goal before suffering a 1-0 defeat on Saturday in neighboring Cyprus.
Gus Poyet’s team controlled the game with 71% possession, but they struggled to convert extended possession into quality chances. Marinos Tzionis’s goal in the 18th minute was the game-winner.
However, thanks to N. Ireland’s victory over Kosovo, their six-point advantage over the Kosovans is unassailable with just one match left.
Josh Magennis’s injury-time winner gave Ian Baraclough’s team its first victory of the current Nations League season in the most dramatic of circumstances.
Vedat Muriqi appeared to have given Kosovo a chance to win the group when he opened the scoring in the 58th minute, but Gavin Whyte responded by tying the score 25 minutes later, and Magennis’s late goal gave N. Ireland the advantage going into their match against Greece on Tuesday.
However, Cyprus’ victory over Greece means that coming into the last matchday, the Green and White Army and the Cypriots are tied on points while Kosovo is one point behind them.
Given that those two countries are up against each other on Tuesday, Northern Ireland needs to perform at least as well as Cyprus in order to ensure their survival.
They will feel confident that they can at least avoid losing in Athens against a team that has little to play for besides personal pride after ending a winless streak of five games.
As Greece appeared to be going through the motions in their weekend defeat to Cyprus, we anticipate N. Ireland to dig in and make life very difficult for them.
The guests’ survival in League C is likely dependent on a point, therefore Baraclough can instruct his players to focus on winning rather than losing.