Football Tips: Your 3 best bets for Cyprus v Northern Ireland on Sunday with a 10/1 play

Our tipster Colin Harvey thinks the purists will absolutely love this.


*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change

Northern Ireland’s League C Group 2 Nations League campaign continues on Sunday away at Cyprus with both sides having suffered defeat in their openers. The Green and White Army lost 1-0 at home to Greece while Cyprus suffered a 2-0 reverse on their own patch at the hands of Kosovo.

In truth, both of these are in pretty poor form and this is likely to be a proper battle of attrition between two sides looking for rhythm. The hosts have won one game this season, drawing two and losing seven while Ian Baraclough’s boys have won four, drawn two and lost four.


Northern Ireland are a shadow of the side that made it to Euro 2016, trying to play in the same way but lacking conviction. They are still relatively hard to beat and they don’t concede much but they’ve not been able to pull off the seismic results that took them to the last 16 six years ago.

They would have been targeting the Greece match as a potential three points and now this clash with Cyprus is must win if they’re to progress. Will they get the points? Here’s you three best bets for Sunday’s game as we attempt to work out how it’s going to play out.


Sunday, June 5
5pm: Cyprus v Northern Ireland

TV: Premier Sports 1

Short-priced punt: Northern Ireland to Win

Surely Northern Ireland will win here. As alluded to earlier, Cyprus really are pants. They’ve lost to Kosovo and Malta this club season and the three games in which they’ve avoided defeat have been a 0-0 draw and 2-0 win over Estonia and a 2-2 stalemate at home to those pesky Maltese.

Northern Ireland have drawn with Italy and Switzerland in the last 12 months but it’s been wins that have been scarce with only Lithuania (twice), Luxembourg and Estonia put away. However, that form against the Italians and the Swiss shows they’ve got enough about them to see of Cyprus.

Value play: Northern Ireland to Win and Under 2.5 Goals

Doubling down on a Northern Irish win for those of you who like their odds a little longer, I think there’s plenty of value in bolting Under 2.5 Goals onto the result. These two just don’t score many goals and one of them doesn’t concede too many either.

Under 1.5 Goals has clicked in four of The Green and White Army’s last five matches while it’s been Under 2.5 in each of Cyprus’ last three. They’ve scored five goals in 10 games this term, conceding 23. For the visitors it’s 10 scored and eight conceded over the same timeframe.


Clearly Northern Ireland have the far superior defence and I can’t see Cyprus breaching them, what with their measly average of 0.5 goals per match this season. Northern Ireland to Win and Under 2.5 Goals should be a bet packed with value in a 1-0 or 2-0 away win.

Long Shot: Paddy McNair to Score First

In a game that’s a little tricky to find value in, especially as we’re expecting a low-scoring affair, it might be worth a flutter in the goal scorer markets. As this could be decided by a single goal I’ll be taking a look slightly off the beaten track for a First Goal Scorer.

If you fancy a bit of a flyer then Paddy McNair to Score First could be worth a go. The versatile man has five goals in 51 caps for his country and actually scored a penalty in the 4-1 win over Lithuania 10 games ago.

He’ll be a threat from set pieces, which I suspect Northern Ireland will have quite a few of, and that penalty is really sticking out to me. It’s called the long shot for a reason but at double-digit odds Paddy McNair to Score First might just be worth a couple of bob if you’re feeling lucky.

Cyprus v Northern Ireland tips

Short-priced punt: Northern Ireland to Win
Value play: Northern Ireland to Win and Under 2.5 Goals
Long Shot: Paddy McNair to Score First

*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change

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