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Israel v Northern Ireland: Hosts to compound Irish woes

| 15.10.2013

After a dreadful qualification campaign, Northern Ireland are set to finish on a low away at Israel and could even end up dropping into last place in the group.

Israel are 1/2 to beat Ireland to complete the double over Michael O’Neill’s side after their 2-0 win in Belfast in March.

Northern Ireland lost in Azerbaijan in their last match, following up defeat in Luxembourg, and have only picked up one victory in their past 17 games in all competitions.

Jonny Evans was sent off in the closing minutes of the match in Baku, another blow to the visitors’ chances against Israel, especially as Gareth McAuley is also missing through injury.

Eden Ben Basat is the likeliest man to profit from the lack of defenders, having bagged five goals in the group already. The Toulouse striker is 10/11 to score at any time.

Should they lose the game and Luxembourg pick up a point away at Portugal, Norn Iron will slip into last place in the group.

Although they are third in the group, Israel have reason to be disappointed with their campaign, with their only wins coming against Northern Ireland and Luxembourg.

Costly draws with Azerbaijan have put an end to their play-off hopes, and Northern Ireland might hope that their host’s motivation slips as they cannot move up or down in the group. The visitors are 6/1 to win in Tel Aviv.

Despite their woeful form, Northern Ireland have only failed to score in two of their last eight competitive matches, while Israel have only kept one clean sheet in their last five.

Backing both teams to score at 10/11 is a good option, and an even more lucrative punt could be to have each side scoring in an Israel win at 23/10.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Alex Fortune