Cock-a-hoop Northern Ireland to secure the point they need against Finland in Helsinki
They have been partying long and hard over the weekend in Belfast and no doubt there was plenty of champagne drunk in the Northern Ireland dressing-room after Thursday’s win over Greece which secured their place at a major finals for the first time in more than 30 years. Will any of the current squad be able to etch their name in Northern Ireland footballing folklore next summer alongside the likes of Gerry Armstrong and Norman Whiteside?
Kyle Lafferty is well on his way to becoming a national hero having already scored seven times in qualifying. The Norwich striker missed the all-important win over Greece through suspension but is available for his country’s final qualifier against Finland in Helsinki which could see his side secure top spot in Group F. Finishing top of the group would boost their seeding in the draw for the finals and they need just a draw. The Finns now have no incentive to win with Romania’s late goal on Thursday ending any hopes of the play-offs.
Under 2.5 in our Total Goals market is 3/5. A draw in Helsinki (9/4 in our Full Time Result betting) would suit Northern Ireland admirably and, despite missing a few regulars, they have the resources to achieve their aim against Finland, who will be playing for the final time in a competitive match under caretaker coach Markku Kanerva.
We’ve priced up Kyle Lafferty at 13/5 to net again in our Anytime Goalscorer betting and cap what has been a near-perfect campaign.
The match kicks off at 5.00pm on Sunday, October 11th at the Olympiastadion, Helsinki
Odds are provided at time of writing, please check your betslip to confirm they have not changed before betting.