Saturday afternoon in Paris sees Wales clash with Northern Ireland in possibly the most unlikely match-up ever in the knockout stages of this tournament. Will Burns has assessed all the information and thinks this one could prove to be a stalemate.
Saturday 25th June 2016 – 17:00 BST
EURO 2016 – ROUND OF 16
WALES v NORTHERN IRELAND
Chris Coleman and Michael O’Neill can be proud of their teams accomplishments so far and the dream of a quarter-final is almost upon them, however only one can emerge and I am finding it hard to see who it will be.
Wales’ tournament, as predicted, has revolved around the goals of Gareth Bale, currently joint top scorer for the tournament with three goals in as many games, and Coleman will look to him to inspire another victory. Expect the Wales coach to name the same starting line-up that blew Russia away on Monday, which would see Sam Vokes keep his place in up top.
The Welsh are undefeated in their last five meetings with Northern Ireland and will hope to continue that run but both teams tend to sit back and soak up the pressure and O’Neill’s men will be difficult to break down, which has been shown in their three group games.
Northern Ireland’s problems lay in attack with a failure to trouble Poland and Germany in the group stages proves that they will need to be more industrious if they wish to break down the Dragons’ defence and continue on.
Can they do that? I don’t think so. Can Wales/Gareth Bale punish the Northern Irish like they did the Russians? I don’t think so.
I see a draw priced up at 21/10 at Bet365 a good selection for this contest and then let the Home Nations battle it out in extra-time and penalties. If you fancy both sides cancelling each other out like I do, then 0-0 is 5/1 over at BetVictor which is my second best bet.
TIP: Correct Score – Wales 0-0 Northern Ireland (9.00 at BetVictor)