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Bosnia Herzegovina v Northern Ireland Preview, betting, and probable starting teams with both sides to advance to the final of the playoffs.
Northern Ireland v Bosnia Herzegovina Preview
Northern Ireland Team News
After seven months on hold ,Northern Ireland will finally take on Bosnia Herzegovina in their Euro 2020 playoff this Thursday. Northern Ireland now under new boss Ian Baraclough will be looking to end their run of poor form after a disappointing Uefa nations league start. Baraclough will be still looking to finalise his starting eleven after trying a variety of line ups and formations in the nations league.
His mind may be still on the fence after they were dominated in a 1-1 draw against Romania and suffered a 5-1 hammering to Norway. Due to the current circumstances of the pandemic these results could be down to lack of fitness and preseason. Northern Ireland will likely line out in a defensively solid 4-4-1-1 formation with their strongest eleven available and injury free.
Bosnia Herzegovina Team News
Dusan Bajevic’s Bosnia Herzegovina will be coming into this game as favorites to advance to the final against either the Republic Of Ireland or Slovakia. They are currently in good form after some strong performances in the Nations League. With a draw against European football giants Italy 1-1 and losing narrowly 2-1 to a strong polish side.
In the recent days their team was delt a blow as two members of their team will miss the match having been diagnosed with covid 19. These include winger Haris Duljevic and assistant coach Rusmir Cviko. Despite this, Bosnia will have a huge advantage when Northern Ireland travel to Sarajevo with their local restrictions allowing up to 2,000 fans to attend the game. Bosnia Herzegovina are predicted to go with their 4-3-3 formation that they’ve gone with for most of the Nations league campaign thus far.
Predicted result Bosnia Herzegovina 2- 0 Northern Ireland
I predict a tough encounter for both teams. Both will be looking not to concede a goal early and stay in the game as long as possible. Bosnia will largely dominate possession with midfield maestro Miralem Pjanic looking to dictate the play. Bosnia’s best goal scoring chances will no doubt come from their leading goal scorer Edwin Dzeko be it from set pieces or open play.
Northern Ireland will look to defend in numbers and drop deep making it difficult for Bosnia to play through them. Northern Irelands best chances will come on the counter either from Dallas or Saville breaking forward or from crosses in which big men Lafferty or Magennis will look to attack. However due to the quality that Bosnia possess going forward and Northern Ireland going through a transitional phase I feel the home team will emerge as victors.
Thursday 7:45 pm Sky Sports Main Event/Now TV
Venue Grbavica Stadium
Previous Meeting Bosnia Herzegovina 2- 0 Northern Ireland (Uefa Nations League 2018)
Odds Bosnia Win 3/4, N Ireland win 18/5, Draw 12/5
Predicted Starting Line-ups
Bosnia Herzegovina Probable Starting Team
E.Dzeko, A.Hodzic, Edin Višća ,M.Pjanic, , Amir Hadžiahmetović, Haris Hajradinović, Sead Kolašinac, Siniša Saničanin, Ermin Bičakčić, Eldar Ćivić ,Asmir Begović
Subs Ibrahim Šehić, A.Gojak, Vladan Danilović, Adnan Gojko Cimirot, Kovačević, Branimir Cipetić, Anel Šabanadžović, Jasmin Burić, Deni Milošević, M.Besic
Doubtful: Toni Šunjić (quarantine), Haris Duljevic (Covid case)
Injured: Ermin Bicakcic (Knee)
Discipline: 3Y, 0 R
Top Scorer Haris Hajradinović, E.Dzeko 1
Northern Ireland Probable Starting Team
B.Peacock-Farrell, J.Lewis, C.Cathcart, D.Ballard, S.Dallas, S.Davis, C.Evans, J.Mcgennis, G.Saville, P.Mcnair, C.Washington
Subs Michael Smith, Conor McLoughlin, Niall Mcginn, Liam Boyce, Kyle Lafferty, Shane Ferguson, Michael Mcgovern, Jordan Thompson, Gavin Whyte, Joel Cooper, Shayne Lavery, Trevor Carson
Doubtful: J.Evans (Possible return after suffering knock)