Bulgaria v Northern Ireland betting tips: Visitors rue Swiss miss
Preview and odds for Tuesday’s World Cup qualifier
Northern Ireland’s hopes of reaching the World Cup finals are diminishing ahead of Tuesday’s trip to Sofia as we look at some potential Bulgaria v Northern Ireland betting tips.
Ian Baraclough’s team suffered a 2-0 defeat against Switzerland in Geneva on Saturday, while Bulgaria slipped to a 3-1 loss in Lithuania.
Tuesday’s match, which takes place at the Vasil Levski National Stadium, is live on Sky Sports and kicks off at 7.45pm.
Bulgaria v Northern Ireland match odds
A 37th-minute red card shown to Jamal Lewis proved decisive as Northern Ireland lost on Saturday to all but end their hopes of qualifying for the World Cup finals in Qatar.
Slovenian referee Slavo Vincic deemed Lewis to have taken too long over a throw-in and cautioned him for a second time in the 37th minute, reducing the visitors to 10 men.
Goals in added time at the end of either half from Steven Zuber and Christian Fassnacht were enough to give Switzerland the points, leaving Northern Ireland six points behind the Swiss in the fight for second place in Group C. With three games left, their chances of a play-off place are all but over.
They are 9/5 to win in Sofia and are not without hope after Bulgaria’s surprise 3-1 defeat by Lithuania. Two late goals from Fedor Cernych dented any lingering hopes the Bulgarians had of making the World Cup finals and they are six points behind the Swiss with just two games remaining and have a vastly inferior goal difference.
Bulgaria v Northern Ireland head-to-head
Bulgaria have won four of the eight previous meetings, including two of the three clashes on home soil.
They held out for a point in a dour, goalless affair at Windsor Park in their last meeting, having won the three previous clashes.
Goals have been infrequent in previous clashes, with two of the eight clashes yielding three goals or more. The odds for under 2.5 goals to be scored this time are 4/9.
Both sides scored just once in their previous eight clashes and it is 4/7 that one or other fails to score again in the Bulgaria v Northern Ireland betting tips.
Bulgaria v Northern Ireland key battles
Baraclough now has a record of only three wins from 17 games since taking charge, and he has so far fallen short in the task of producing contenders from limited resources.
Their attacking options are limited, as they showed when facing their hosts in the reverse fixture, which they dominated for large parts. Their failure to hit the net with any regularity is troubling – they have scored just four goals in their five games thus far.
Bulgaria have a young side and are going through a transitional phase. They have won just three of their last 27 matches and Northern Ireland are 4/9 to win or draw this clash on the Double Chance market.
All odds and markets correct as of date of publication