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Switzerland v Northern Ireland predictions, betting tips & match preview: Swiss to end NI’s World Cup dream

Leigh Copson in Football 10 Nov 2017
  • Switzerland v Northern Ireland kicks off at 17:00 GMT on Sunday evening
  • Get free betting tips & predictions for this World Cup qualifier
Swiss to do double over NI? (credit: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

Switzerland v Northern Ireland predictions for Sunday evening’s World Cup qualifying play-off. Can Northern Ireland overturn a one-goal deficit in the second leg or will Switzerland clinch a place at next summer’s World Cup? Read on for all of our free predictions and betting tips.

Switzerland v Northern Ireland Predictions


Switzerland v Northern Ireland Betting Tips Explained


Northern Ireland face an uphill battle in their quest to reach the World Cup, having suffered a controversial 1-0 defeat in the first leg of their tie with Switzerland. In fairness to the visiting Swiss they did dominate the clash at Windsor Park, but it took a questionable penalty for them to make the breakthrough when Corry Evans was deemed to have handled inside the area, with replays showing the ball had actually struck his shoulder. Ricardo Rodriguez converted the resulting spot-kick and that means Northern Ireland have a huge task in trying to win this two-legged tie.

“I am staggered by the [penalty] decision - it is bewildering,” manager Michael O’Neill told reporters. “The players are angry but we have to find a way to get a result on Sunday. We are still in the tie. We are going to have to find a way to get a goal back. I'll have to pick the players up. There's anger in the dressing room - they are very aggrieved by what happened. They still believe they are in the tie, that's the most important thing. It is not like we are going there with nothing to play for.”

It was a ridiculous decision from the official but the damage has been done and Northern Ireland must now go to Switzerland and win to seal a spot in Russia. O’Neill claims his players are confident they are still in the tie and believe they can pull off that fightback, but I do not share their confidence. Switzerland have, after all, been almost flawless in qualifying so far.

Vladimir Petkovic’s side won nine of their 10 group games, with their only defeat coming to European champions Portugal on the final night of that qualifying phase, and at home they boasted a perfect record of five wins from five games, out-scoring the opposition 13-2 and keeping clean sheets in four of those outings, including the home meeting with the Portuguese. That home record, along with their dominance of the first leg in Northern Ireland, gives me plenty of confidence to back Switzerland to win this second leg and win it without conceding a goal. 

My second recommendation is to back this game to see less than three goals. A big reason behind Northern Ireland’s run to the play-offs is a sturdy defence that did a decent job of keeping the ball out of their own net during the group stage, and it is highly unlikely that it will collapse here and allow Switzerland to run riot. The losses in Germany and Norway and the draw in the Czech Republic all delivered Under 2.5 Total Goals, so that really does look like being a very solid bet for this second leg showdown with a Switzerland side who do not need to be gung-ho but should grab a goal or two.

Switzerland v Northern Ireland Stats


  • Switzerland hold a 1-0 lead from the first leg in Northern Ireland
  • Northern Ireland won only two of their five away matches in their World Cup qualifying group
  • Switzerland won nine of their 10 group games during World Cup qualifying
  • Switzerland won all five of their home games during the group stage of World Cup qualifying
  • Switzerland kept clean sheets in four of their five World Cup qualifying group games
  • Four of Northern Ireland’s five away games in the group stage produced less than three goals
  • Switzerland have never lost or conceded a goal when hosting Northern Ireland

Switzerland v Northern Ireland Predictions




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Switzerland v Northern Ireland predictions, betting tips & match preview: Swiss to end NI’s World Cup dream

Switzerland v Northern Ireland predictions for Sunday evening’s World Cup qualifying play-off.

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