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Finland v Northern Ireland: Expect goals in this Euro 2016 dead rubber

| 09.10.2015

Having already qualified for Euro 2016 Northern Ireland will travel to Finland in party mode and Michael O’Neill’s men are unlikely to take their foot off the gas in their final game.

Finland also have nothing to play for but for different reasons, with Markku Kanerva’s side unable to earn even a play-off place in Group F.

However, if history is anything to go by this dead rubber will not live up to its billing and will instead deliver on the goal front.

Finland go into the game as 6/5 favourites, with the draw on at 21/10 and Northern Ireland priced at 13/5 to sign off in style.

However, a quick look at the results in past meetings between the two shows that a punt on over 2.5 goals at 29/20 could be the way to go.

The last five games between these two sides have produced no fewer than 18 goals, with five of the last seven seeing three or more.

Of course with those games played out over a 31-year period ranging from 1984 to 2015 there remains some doubt.

This can be alleviated, however, with a glance at both sides’ current form.

In five of Northern Ireland’s last seven away qualifiers the total has gone over 2.5, while the same can be said for three of Finland’s last four at home.

If the total goals market isn’t your thing though at odds-against Northern Ireland cannot be ignored in the win-draw-win market here.

The Group F table-toppers have won four and drawn one of their seven meetings with Finland and with the confidence of qualifying for a first tournament in 20 years still riding high the Finns will struggle to bring O’Neill’s men back down to Earth.

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

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James Curtis

After studying for a degree in journalism and gaining his NCTJ, James contributed to a wide range of papers, online publications and broadcasters including the South London Press, Press Association and Sky Sports News before joining the Ladbrokes News team.