Northern Ireland have performed valiantly with the worst draw of the Home Nations, but they could end their campaign on a low note in Germany this evening.
Considering the difficulty of their draw – they have faced Germany and the Netherlands – Michael O’Neill’s men have done extremely well, and they could have gone closer to the top two. Their chances of automatic qualification for the Euros ended with a 0-0 draw at home to The Netherlands on Saturday when Captain Steven Davis blasted a first-half penalty over the bar and they took the lead against n the reverse fixture before the Dutch scored three late goals.
They also kept Germany out for 48 minutes in the reverse fixture but eventually, the class of those top ranked sides told through and it might be the same case against Germany this evening. Joachim Low’s side are playing for their seeding in next summer’s tournament, so this game will be vital for a side that has plenty to prove after their shocking World Cup, when they went out at the group stage.
Germany v Northern Ireland
UEFA EURO 2020 Qualifier
19:45 Sky Sports Premier League HD
HEAD TO HEAD RECORD*
(Maximum 10 matches)
SEP 2019 EURO 2020 QUALIFYING Northern Ireland 0-2 Germany
OCT 2017 WORLD CUP 2018 QUALIFYING Northern Ireland 1-3 Germany
OCT 2016 WORLD CUP 2018 QUALIFYING Germany 2-0 Northern Ireland
JUN 2016 EURO 2016 Northern Ireland 0-1 Germany
Germany (8/1 to win Euro 2020 with Star Sports) have given themselves a shot at top spot with three straight wins, including a 4-0 success over Belarus when they had to wait 41 minutes to break down the visitors but eventually ran out comfortable winners when their possession paid off in the second half.
Changes have been made to avoid a repeat of their 2018 disaster – only Manuel Neuer, Joshua Kimmich, Toni Kroos, and Timo Werner started against Mexico at the World Cup and Belarus on Saturday – and on face value Low’s rebuild appears to be going well, with players such as Serge Gnabry, Matthias Ginter and Leon Goretzka all impressing. Only Manuel Neuer is over 30 in the squad, and regardless of the result next summer, it looks as if eyes are on the future for Lowe and the German FA.
Northern Ireland shouldn’t be downhearted. Michael O’Neill is going to be there for their play-off games, which should come against opposition less difficult to handle than either Germany or Holland, but they might find Germany too good once again.
Die Mannschaft have kept clean sheets in five of their last six competitive fixtures, so it might be worth gambling on a couple of correct scores. Northern Ireland have conceded only 14 goals in their last 16 competitive away fixtures, so it’s possible they could keep things fairly close as they did in the reverse fixture.
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