Football Tips: 13/1 play tops our best bets as Kosovo host Northern Ireland

Paddy McNair to bag a goal? Stranger things have happened...

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*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

It will be Northern Ireland’s 13th attempt to win a Nations League game on Thursday night. Since it’s inception, they’ve accumulated just 3 draws, most recently in their lacklustre nil-nil draw away to Cyprus.

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Ian Baraclough’s side have the chance to bounce back on Thursday night, as they travel to Kosovo. Ahead of the game, we’ve put together three best bets for the action…

Thursday, June 9
7.45pm: Kosovo v Northern Ireland

TV: Premier Sports 1

IanBaracloughNorthernIrelandMar21

The latest football odds are on PaddyPower.com right now

Short Priced Punt: Draw

Although still relatively new to international football, Kosovo are not a side to write off. They’ve only one defeat in their past five games, against a Greece side who comfortably ran out winners against Northern Ireland earlier this month. Kosovo’s run of form also includes a draw with Switzerland, a side ranked 14th in the world.

Northern Ireland on the hand, despite being ranked 53 places above Kosovo, are in dire need of a performance. Manager Ian Baraclough has only managed three competitive victories since taking charge, and with pressure mounting, could do with one here. But the performances against Greece and Cyprus do not suggest a big result is coming. We reckon this one has draw written all over it.

Value Play: 1-1 Draw

Northern Ireland’s strikers may have left their shooting boots back home, as their tour of the south-eastern corners of Europe has so far yielded no goals. But Kosovo have just 2 clean sheets in their past ten games, so if there’s any time to score, now seems like a good time.

At the back, Northern Ireland have been less bad, conceding only 4 goals in their last six games, but a Kosovo side who have scored 9 in their past 5 (albeit with a 5-0 win over Burkina Faso in there) should find a way past the Northern Irish defence.

Long Shot: Paddy McNair to score first

Seeing as the strikers have left their shooting boots back in Belfast for this round of Nations League fixtures – or maybe they’re just on an early holiday – Northern Ireland might have to look elsewhere for goals. So we’ll turn to the big man, Paddy McNair.

He’s weighed in with five goals in his international career so far, including a penalty, and is always a threat for set-pieces – we’d imagine they’ll be plenty of those on Thursday night. It’s a bit of a long shot at double digit odds – don’t get us wrong – but there’s not much value floating around for this match, but we may just have found it here.

Kosovo v Northern Ireland Tips

*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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