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Romania v Northern Ireland: Prediction, Tips and Odds

Northern Ireland's Euro 2024 qualification campaign went disastrously, bar a shock 2-0 win over Denmark, as they finished on just nine points and ahead of only San Marino in their section.

Michael O’Neill, who is in his second spell as boss of the Green and White Army, will be hoping to use this international break to create some harmony in the squad ahead of an ambitious bid to make the 2026 World Cup.

However, beating Romania in the first of a pair of friendlies will be no easy task.

The Tricolours, in contrast to their visitors, enjoyed an excellent qualifying campaign, going unbeaten as they topped Group I with 22 points and they will be difficult to defy in Bucharest.

Romania v Northern Ireland

Romania v Northern Ireland betting tips and predictions

Romania to win to nil - 7/4

Based on their qualifying campaigns, this clash at the National Arena in Bucharest can only end one way - a home victory.

Romania’s unbeaten qualifying run included six wins - including victories over solid sides Switzerland and Israel - while they have won all of their last three home matches without conceding.

That is bad news for Northern Ireland, who have lost their last four away games and have failed to score in three of those, suggesting they may even fail to land a blow against their hosts, let alone take the win.

Friendlies can be hard to predict as they can be used by managers to give fringe players a chance to impress, but with Romania’s place at the Finals in Germany already confirmed, it seems unlikely that Edward Iordanescu will want to shuffle the pack too much as he aims to build chemistry ahead of the tournament.

With that in mind, a comfortable home victory looks extremely likely. The last three meetings between the pair have finished level, but this is a completely different Romania side and the Tricolours look sure to sweep aside Northern Ireland with ease in Bucharest.

Florinel Coman to score - 3/1

Florinel Coman was simply a squad player for a long period for the Tricolours, but began to show his importance to the side towards the end of the qualification campaign.

He notched his first ever Romania goal in their 4-0 rout of Andorra and he could kick on in the scoring department.

He was far from a guaranteed starter prior to his performance against Andorra but he subsequently started the clash with Switzerland, and his club form means it will be difficult for Iordanescu to leave him out.

Coman has scored five goals in his last five matches for Steaua Bucharest and his overall tally for the season is an impressive 15 strikes in 28 league appearances.

The 25-year-old winger is enjoying a breakout campaign and could punish a Northern Ireland side who have shipped 10 goals in their last four away games by getting on the Romanian scoresheet for the second time in his career.

Shea Charles to be booked - 7/2

Southampton’s Shea Charles is a key cog in Michael O’Neill’s system, but his role as the sole defensive midfielder in the Northern Irish midfield can leave him exposed at times, leading to a lot of attention from referees.

Charles was sent off in the Green and White Army’s defeat to Slovenia in October and managed to pick up three yellow cards in his other eight qualifying stage matches.

He has been in and out of the Southampton side this season, rarely completing a full 90 minutes, but has still managed to receive seven yellow cards in 28 league appearances, highlighting his tendency to commit tactical or needless fouls.

Ianis Hagi is arguably Romania’s most skilled dribbler and should the son of legendary Tricolour Georghe be deployed through the middle by Iordanescu, Charles may be forced to bring him down more than once, potentially leading to a booking.

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Romania v Northern Ireland odds

Romania - 5/6
Draw -
12/5
Northern Ireland -
15/4

View the full market and more odds for Romania v Northern Ireland on site

Read Romania v Northern Ireland how to watch, TV channel, head-to-head stats, team news and more

This article was written by a partner sports writer via Spotlight Sports Group. All odds displayed on this page were correct at the time of writing and are subject to withdrawal or change at any time.

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