A 0-0 draw with Italy secured at Windsor Park in October last year suggests Northern Ireland have the necessary tools to come away from Stadio Adriatico with something to show for their efforts in Nigel Worthington’s final match in charge of the national team.
However, Italy’s 100 per cent win record in home Euro 2012 qualifiers, coupled with Northern Ireland’s poor away form, points firmly towards a win for the Azzurri.
This is reflected in bwin’s 3Way football market, with Italy priced at 9/50 to pick up all three points and a draw at 23/4 and Northern Ireland win at 25/2.
Indeed, far from securing a morale-boosting win or draw, it seems that Northern Ireland will do well even to get on the scoresheet.
Italy have not conceded a goal on home soil since a 3-2 win over Cyprus in Parma more than two years ago, helping them to the best defensive record in Euro 2012 qualifying.
Meanwhile, Northern Ireland’s lack of potency in front of goal is bordering on the embarrassing, with blanks fired in 13 of their last 22 matches and none of those games featuring more than one goal scored by the men in white and green.
As such, betting on another Italy clean sheet at odds of 12/25 looks like an obvious choice, and given Italy have scored in all but one of the 11 games since their 0-0 draw in Northern Ireland, so too does a home win to nil at odds of 3/5.
However, with neither of these bets offering the most attractive of returns the best option could be on Italy to score more goals in the second half of the game than they do in the first, with this available at 5/4.
This is based on the fact that eight of the ten goals conceded by Norn Iron in qualifying have been let in after the interval.
A successful £25 free bet on Italy to score more in the second half than they do in the first would return £56.25, with the free bet available to new customers who sign up for a bwin account.
New customers can register here to claim their free £25 bet or click here to see all our Euro 2012 qualifier odds.
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