Group C will kick off at the Euro 2016 tournament in France this Sunday, June 12th with a match between 25th-ranked Northern Ireland and 27th-ranked Poland in Nice. The other teams in the group are fourth-ranked Germany and 19th-ranked Ukraine. This is one of the toughest groups in the event and each point will be extremely valuable. The top two teams in each of the six groups will advance to the round-of-16 knockout stage and the top four third-place teams will join them.
Bet on Poland vs Northern Ireland – Pinnacle SOCCER BETTING LINE:
- Pinnacle currently lists Poland as the favorites at -140 with Northern Ireland +523 and a draw at +261
Poland vs Northern Ireland – Head to Head:
- These nations last met in a World Cup qualifier in September of 2009 with the teams playing to a 1-1 draw in Poland. Northern Ireland won their home match 3-2 in the same qualifying campaign. They’ve met a total of just nine times in the past with Northern Ireland winning four, losing three and drawing the other two. Each team has scored 13 goals in those encounters.
Poland had a decent Euro 2016 qualifying tournament as they finished second in their group, just one point back of reigning world champions Germany. They also managed to beat the Germans 2-0 at home during the campaign. Poland competed in Euro 2012 four years ago as one of the host nations along with Ukraine. They had a tough time of it though by winning a game and losing two and failing to advance from the group stage. Poland then failed to qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Poland has played a few pre-tournament matches in 2016 with a 1-0 win over Serbia and a 5-0 defeat of Finland as well as a 2-1 loss at home to Holland and a 0-0 draw against Lithuania. The team looks solid in goal with Łukasz Fabianski, Wojciech Szczesny and Artur Boruc all capable netminders. The defense is stable enough and the midfield boasts the likes of Jakub Blaszczykowski, Tomasz Jodłowiec, Grzegorz Krychowiak and Piotr Zielinski. The team’s forwards are Arkadiusz Milik, Robert, Lewandowski and Mariusz Stępinski with Lewandowski being among the best in the world.
Northern Ireland had a fine qualifying campaign for the European Championships as they finished first in their group with six victories, three draws and just one loss. They edged Romania by a point while third-place Hungary also reached the tournament by winning their playoff round. Northern Ireland has also had a good run-up to the event with draws in Slovakia and Wales in pre-tournament contests as well as home victories against Belarus and Slovenia.
Ireland will be depending on aging veteran Roy Carroll in goal with his backups being Michael McGovern and Alan McManus. The defense looks steady with Craig Cathcart, Jonny Evans, Gareth McAuley, Aaron Hughes, Chris Baird and Paddy McNair in the squad. However, the midfield looks to be a little weak. The forwards are also rather inexperienced and consist of Will Grigg, Kyle Lafferty, Conor Washington and Josh Magennis, with Lafferty being the veteran.
by Ian S. Palmer