Azerbaijan v Northern Ireland Betting Tips: Visitors to get the job done

19:45/Jun 10

Sports betting writer Bradley Gibbs takes a look at Saturday’s World Cup Qualifier between Azerbaijan and Northern Ireland. 

Having acquitted themselves well at the Euros last summer, Northern Ireland are showing people that their upturn in fortunes might not be short lived as they continue to go well in World Cup Qualifying. Michael O’Neill’s men currently sit 2nd in Group C behind world champions Germany and will be in confident mood ahead of their trip to Azerbaijan.

With seven points of their own during this campaign, Azerbaijan have also surprised a few people, although we probably shouldn’t read too much into this form as three of those points came courtesy of a win against San Marino. When this pair met in the reverse fixture, the Northern Irish boys put in one of their best performances for some time as they marched to a commanding 4-0 win. Playing away from home obviously presents a tougher challenge, but this resilient visiting team are fancied to secure all three points and do the double over their opponents.

As we saw in France around this time last year, Northern Ireland are a side who’re extremely disciplined and well-drilled, while they also make their opponents work hard from start to finish. Such a style often makes it difficult for opposing teams to break down O’Neill’s men and their defensive resilience has looked as strong as ever in the first half of this qualification process. Having conceded just twice, the green and white army have kept four clean sheets. It’s often said that a solid defence is nothing without an attack that backs it up so it’s a good job that Northern Ireland have been able to profit in the final third during this campaign by scoring a total of ten goals. Against an Azerbaijan team who often struggle to impose themselves on games, such defensive form is fancied to hold the visitors in good stead here.

Scoring goals really isn’t something that Azerbaijan specialise in and it is this impotency in the final third that can act as the catalyst for the visitors to secure victory on Saturday evening. The hosts come into this fixture having scored just three goals in qualifying so far – one of which came against San Marino – and could really struggle to break down a Northern Ireland rearguard that more often than not proves to be a tough nut to crack.

All things considered, this Northern Ireland side simply have more about them and, much like they did in the reverse fixture, are expected to suck the life out of the Azerbaijani attacks before capitalising at the other end. At the prices, getting behind the away win here is definitely the way to go.

Read more World Cup Qualifying tips here.

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Azerbaijan v Northern Ireland
10.06.2017 19:45 BST
World Cup Qualifying
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