Kick-off: 1945, 04/09/2020
Stadium: Arena Nationala
TV: Sky Sports
Ian Baraclough begins his reign as Northern Ireland boss with a Nations League trip to Romania and is tipped to pick up a point in Bucharest.
The hosts also have a new boss in Mirel Radoi and both managers may settle for starting out in a steady fashion by sharing the spoils here.
Punters can get 11/5 for a draw and that is our first Romania vs Northern Ireland prediction.
A Look At Romania’s Betting Odds
Romania have performed pretty much as expected in their last couple of competitions.
The Tricolours finished second to Serbia in their Group C pool in the inaugural Nations League tournament, drawing twice against the table toppers.
In Euro 2020 qualifying, they were fourth behind Spain, Sweden and Norway, but secured a respectable 14 points to be well clear of Faroe Islands and Malta.
The overriding view from those campaigns is that Romania can be relied upon to fare well against lesser lights, but they struggle to overcome bigger nations.
Rangers playmaker Ianis Hagi, son of the great Gheorghe, and Reading striker George Puscas are two of the leading lights in this team.
Slavia Prague winger Nicolae Stanciu is another player to watch out for going forward, while Sassuolo defender Vlad Chiriches, who spent a couple of years at Tottenham, has plenty of experience.
Head coach Radoi was a defensively-minded midfielder in his playing days and this team is usually tough to break down on home turf.
Looking at the Romania vs Northern Ireland odds, we like 7/5 for no goals to be scored in the first half.
A Look At Northern Ireland’s Betting Odds
Baraclough has a tough act to follow after succeeding Michael O’Neill, who took Northern Ireland to the Euro 2016 knockout stages and had a fine 36% win rate from 72 matches.
The men in green struggled in this tournament two years ago when failing to pick up a single point versus Bosnia and Herzegovina and Austria.
However, they performed with great credit when third behind Germany and Holland in Euro 2020 qualifying, winning all four matches against Belarus and Estonia.
Baraclough has inherited a squad packed full of experienced performers, with the likes of Jonny Evans, Craig Cathcart, Steven Davis and Kyle Lafferty forming a strong spine.
Next month’s crunch European Championship qualifying play-off semi-final versus Bosnia and Herzegovina looms large on the horizon.
But Baraclough said: “It’s important we get off to a good start in the Nations League and I certainly want to hit the ground running in terms of my tenure.”
Let’s add 333/100 for the scores to be level at half-time and full-time to our Romania vs Northern Ireland betting tips.
Spain 5-0 ROMANIA
Germany 6-1 NORTHERN IRELAND – Michael Smith
Head-to-head: N Ireland 0-0 Romania, Romania 2-0 N Ireland, Romania 2-0 N Ireland, N Ireland 2-0 Romania
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