A shock win over Russia last time out has given Northern Ireland the faintest hope of booking Brazil 2014 tickets, but it flickers like a candle in a hurricane.
To prevent it being extinguished, they must inflict the same feat on Group F’s grands fromages Portugal.
bwin have Michael O’Neill’s men chalked up at a monstrous 35/4 to prevail at Windsor Park, with the Cristiano Ronaldo-led Portuguese overwhelming 3/10 favourites.
Alternatively, those envisioning an equal division of the spoils can get paid out at 4/1.
Despite the clear favouritism attributed to Portugal, those willing to wade in heavy on their short price must be aware that several leading nations have slipped on banana skins in Northern Ireland.
Russia were the latest powerhouse to be knocked off their size nines by puny Norn Iron, with England and Spain among the others to have experienced the same embarrassment.
Portugal are yet to sample it, but they came perilously close in the corresponding fixture last autumn. A late Helder Postiga leveller prevented a huge upset in Lisbon as the sides drew 1-1.
That was the second meeting between the nations this century and both finished with each side scoring a goal apiece. The last head-to-head game that produced a winner saw the burgundy-clad boys from the Iberian peninsula sneak a 1-0 win.
History, then, suggests this is going to be a close game in which backers of under 2.5 goals are likely to be rewarded at 17/20.
Those feeling particularly brave can wager under 1.5 strikes in search of a 12/5 bounty. A repeat of this pair’s favourite scoreline – 1-1 – is a 33/4 offering.
A safer option with a smaller profit margin is backing either one or neither team to find the back of the net in Belfast.
Each of the hosts’ last three have seen this bet cop and the same can be said of three of Portugal’s last four.
It pays out only at 1/2, but given recent trends it looks as though it’s coming in.