Jake Pearson landed four winners from as many selections on Monday. He has an odds-against tip for Northern Ireland's trip to Bulgaria.
1pt Both Teams to Score at 27/20 (Mansion Bet)
Northern Ireland’s 2-0 defeat to Switzerland on Saturday leaves them six points behind the Swiss, who currently occupy second place in Group C, and with their hopes of qualifying for the 2022 World Cup hanging by a thread.
Ian Baraclough’s men know that this fixture against Bulgaria is a must-win, with Switzerland unlikely to lose to Lithuania, but given the Swiss still have Italy and Bulgaria to play, all is not completely lost for Northern Ireland.
The Irish are currently level on points with Bulgaria, but have played a game fewer, and have a better goal difference, giving them the upper hand, and they will be hoping to increase that advantage away in Sofia.
Bulgaria also arrive into this match on the back of a disappointing result, a shock 3-1 defeat to Lithuania all but ending their hopes of qualification.
Realistically, both sides will be aware that their chances of making it to Qatar are incredibly slim, but Baraclough has challenged his Ireland players to take out their anger on the Bulgarians.
“The players are hurting but I know they will channel that, refocus and look to do well against Bulgaria,” the Northern Ireland boss said after their defeat to Switzerland, and that could lead to an entertaining affair.
With effectively nothing to play for, this game could go either way, full of goals and unshackled attacking football, or else drift its way towards a 0-0.
Given Baraclough’s comments though, it could be worth siding with the former, and backing BOTH TEAMS TO SCORE at a price of 27/20 makes appeal.
Bulgaria games have been goal fests of late, BTTS landing in three of their last four, with those matches averaging thee goals per game, while 11 of Northern Ireland’s last 21 matches have seen both teams find the back of the net.
Defensively, Bulgaria are susceptible, keeping just two clean sheets in their last ten matches, and while Northern Ireland have managed four in that time, two of those did come against Malta and Estonia.
Bulgaria are a general 1/2-shot to score at least one goal, as are Northern Ireland, and a straight double on those prices pays out at 5/4, meaning anything bigger than that represents value.
Score prediction: Bulgaria 1-2 Northern Ireland (Sky Bet odds: 11/1)
Odds correct at 1510 BST (11/10/21)
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