Windsor Park - International Friendly
Northern Ireland and Israel play each other in an international friendly on Tuesday, after they each lost their opening Nations League games at the weekend. It’s a chance for both teams to return to winning ways at Windsor Park.
The countries last met in qualifying for the 2014 World Cup, with Israel winning 2-0 in Ireland before a 1-1 in the return fixture. Before that, they also shared a 1-1 draw in a 2009 friendly, which was the first time they’d played each other since 1981.
Michael O’Neill isn’t expected to make sweeping changes to his side after their 2-1 defeat against Bosnia on Saturday. However, cult hero Will Grigg scored a late consolation after coming on as a second-half substitute, and could push Kyle Lafferty for a spot up front.
This is a relatively inexperienced Israel squad - captain Bibras Natkho is the only player with more than 40 caps. Andi Herzog has three goalkeepers aged over 30, but two of those haven’t won a cap yet. Only 32-year-old Guy Haimov has played for his country, yet he only has two caps.
Northern Ireland v Israel Preview and Predictions
Two out-of-form sides meet on Tuesday night, but this is a great chance for both countries to get back to winning ways. Both Northern Ireland and Israel are without a victory in their last three games, with the visitors losing 1-0 against Albania on Friday night.
After such a promising qualifying campaign for the World Cup, Northern Ireland have only won one of their last eight matches. That run includes the two-legged play-off defeat against Switzerland, as well as their opening Nations League encounter.
Michael O’Neill needs to get his players back in the groove of producing the kind of determined, battling results they showed during a five-match winning run last year. The Green and White Army are 11/10 for the win, which would set them up for their next Nations League game which is a difficult trip to Austria next month.
Israel meanwhile have only won one of their last nine fixtures, a 1-0 victory over Lichtenstein. Their recent record would probably be even worse had their pre-World Cup friendly against Argentina not been cancelled.
Northern Ireland should really win this game, but if you think the away side will take it you can get odds of 31/10. The draw is priced at 58/25.
Under 2.5 goals at
As the two countries have only scored five goals in their last 14 games combined, this match is likely to be a low-scoring affair.
Northern Ireland to win 1-0 at
Ireland’s only win against Israel was by this scoreline back in 1981, while five of Israel’s last six games have ended with a 1-0 scoreline.