It looks likely to be a case of saving the toughest game until last for Northern Ireland. Michael O’Neill and all those associated with the Northern Ireland team will no doubt be hoping that Germany are already assured of their place in the last 16 and will take things relatively easily as a consequence. Even so, O’Neill will be looking for big performances from experienced campaigners like captain Steven Davis, Jonny Evans and Gareth McAuley.
Although the early Northern Ireland v Germany betting odds would suggest a comfortable victory for Joachim Löw’s men, Northern Ireland can take some positives from the fact that their southern neighbours won four points against Germany in the qualifiers and Scotland ran them close in both their games too.
In seven previous meetings Northern Ireland has managed to hold the Germans to draws on three occasions. However, they have lost the last four games with a 14:2 goal difference in favour of Germany. It would certainly rank as one of the shocks of Euros 2016 were Northern Ireland to take anything from this match.
Even at this stage without knowing how the results in the group impact on the teams requirements from this match, it’s very tempting to suggest that any Northern Ireland v Germany free bets should be used to back Germany to win to nil. Realistically it’s just difficult to envisage Northern Ireland spending much time in and around the Germany penalty area, let alone creating and converting goal opportunities.
This will probably be the end of the road for Northern Ireland, but it will be a great experience for players and fans alike to be facing the world champions at a major finals.