Euro 2016 Quarter Finals Free Bet tip | Euro 2016 Quarter Finals Betting Tip | Wales v Northern IrelandPublished June 24, 2016
This is a quarter-final few would have predicted at the beginning of the tournament. Ironically, this match only came about because of a late winner by the Republic of Ireland against Italy in one of the shocks of the tournament.
It had looked for a long while during the game that Wales would play Turkey and Northern Ireland would meet France in the last 16. However, Robbie Brady’s late winner for Ireland in Lille changed the dynamics of the knockout ties and eliminated Turkey.
Wales are clear favourites. They surprisingly topped a group that included England, Russia and Slovakia, beating the latter two while cruelly losing to their neighbours in the last minute thanks to Daniel Sturridge’s stoppage time winner.
In their last game when they destroyed Russia 3-0, they demonstrated that they are more than just Gareth Bale, though he did grab one of the goals. Aaron Ramsey opened the scoring with a cheeky chip after a great through-ball from Joe Allen.
Allen and Ramsey were the best players on the field and marshaled the Welsh midfield harrying the Russians and building penetrative attacks.
Northern Ireland had a less glamorous route to the last 16, winning just once against Ukraine, while losing to Poland and Germany in these European Championships. The last game, lost 1-0 thanks to a scrappy goal by Mario Gomez, was enough to put them through largely because of German wastefulness and the heroics of Michael McGovern.
Wales manager Chris Coleman expects a physical encounter and his team will face a very different but more familiar test against the Northern Irish who like to get the ball forward quickly. The Welsh have progressed by largely playing possession football, but they certainly won’t be put off by the rough and direct approach taken by Michael O’Neill’s team.
Both tactics have served their teams well to reach this stage, largely without the populations and riches of some teams already eliminated. However, Wales will probably have too much for the Northern Irish who will have a harder time outmuscling and outrunning their next opponent.
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