Both Northern Ireland and Wales come into their Carling Nations Cup clash in pretty poor shape. The former were routed 5-0 on Tuesday by their neighbours south of the border while Gary Speed’s men relinquished a half-time lead to lose 3-1 to the Scots as the pair racked up their second defeats of the competition.
The two sides are hoping to avoid the wooden spoon then as they face-off in Dublin but it looks like Wales will be the team clinching third spot in the table at the expense of what is likely to be another inexperienced Northern Ireland line-up.
By contrast, Speed can call on a few more senior names and his team showed enough in the first half against Scotland to suggest they are close to registering a first win under their new boss, a result Paddy Power offer at 19/20 here.
The key for the welsh could be a lack of goals for Nigel Worthington’s troops, who barely troubled Shay Given and later David Forde in the Republic of Ireland goal last time out. Admittedly, the Wales rearguard is far from water tight – they’ve conceded six goals in their two Nations Cup outings – but so blunt is the Northern Ireland attack that Speed’s men could hold out this time and they’re 9/4 at Totesport to prevail ‘to nil’.
Meanwhile, Coral chalk 17/2 against a 2-0 Welsh triumph and the returning Craig Bellamy, whose pace will be a thorn in the side of Worthington’s charges, is a tempting 2/1 (Coral) to get on the scoresheet.