Euro 2020 Play-Offs: Bosnia & Herzegovina vs Northern Ireland

Bosnia & Herzegovina takes on Northern Ireland in their Euro 2020 play-off semi-final tie at Bilino Polje Stadium. 

The winner of this tie will play host next month to the victorious team from Slovakia’s clash against Republic of Ireland in the Path B play-off Final.

 

Team News

Embed from Getty Images

Haris Duljevic is ruled out for Bosnia and Herzegovina after testing positive for Coronavirus along with assistant manager, Rusmir Cviko.

Milan Duric meanwhile replaces Elvir Koljic who has withdrawn from the squad.

Northern Ireland could be without Leicester defender, Jonny Evans after he suffered a knock during the Foxes’ defeat to West Ham on Sunday.

 

Stat Attack

  • Bosnia are unbeaten in two previous meetings against Northern Ireland (W2).
  • Northern Ireland failed to keep a clean sheet in their only previous trip to Bosnia in October 2018, after Edin Dzeko scored twice for the hosts.
  • Steve Davis could become Northern Ireland’s most capped player with 120 caps if he makes an appearance in this match.

 

Prediction

Bosnia enter this tie with just three wins in their last ten matches across all competitions despite having a strong squad, suggesting that they could find themselves vulnerable if Northern Ireland can rediscover their consistency which has gone AWOL.

We must remember that Northern Ireland however are coming into this match off the back of an embarrassing 5-1 home defeat against Norway last month, so defending will be key on their part and especially if Edin Dzeko starts for Bosnia.

This therefore could well be a tight encounter if Northern Ireland opt for a more defensive approach to try and silence Dzeko, although my gut instinct is that Bosnia will extend their winning record over the visitors to three matches.

Prediction: Bosnia & Herzegovina 2-1 Norther Ireland

Result: Bosnia & Herzegovina 1-1 Northern Ireland (Northern Ireland win 4-3 on penalties)

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