The upcoming 2016 European Championship in France will be the first tournament in the competition’s history to increase the number of participating nations from 16 to 24. UEFA’s decision has provided a wonderful opportunity for many of the so-called lesser nations to qualify and experience the wonderful feeling of being in a major tournament. Ireland and Northern Ireland have grasped the opportunity with both hands by making excellent starts to their respective campaigns and appear fully focused on making it to Euro 2016. Upcoming games against Scotland and Romania respectively will provide a major test to their qualification credentials, but victory will put both in a wonderful position to finish in the top two. Working out the each way value may be advisable for punters who wish to back Ireland and Northern Ireland to win their upcoming fixture, with both teams in inspired form in the opening stages of qualifying.

Ireland v Scotland

ireland and scotland flag

‘The Battle of Britain’ promises to be a wonderful occasion for two teams who have made an excellent start in Group D. Being drawn alongside Germany and Poland may result in a straight shootout between Ireland and Scotland for a place in the top three, as four into three simply does not go. While victories against Georgia and Gibraltar represented an excellent start for Martin O’Neill’s men, John O’Shea’s dramatic late equaliser in Germany may not only prove to be an invaluable point, but also illustrated that Ireland mean business in the Euro 2016 qualifiers.

A thoroughly deserved point against the World Cup champions put Ireland joint-top of the group alongside Poland who are both unbeaten, but will have to be on their game against a rejuvenated Scotland side who look impressive under Gordon Strachan. They caused Germany all sorts of problems in Week 1 and were unfortunate to lose 2-1, before almost sealing a priceless victory in Poland in Week 3, but Arkadiusz Milik’s late equaliser denied them of all three points. Ireland hold bragging rights against the Scots following the 1-0 Nations Cup win in 2011, but so much has changed since then for both teams and it promises to be a wonderful match at Hampden Park

Romania v Northern Ireland


Being drawn alongside the likes of Greece, Hungary and Romania in Group F provided Northern Ireland with a fantastic opportunity to make their mark and secure a place in their first major tournament since 1986. Michael O’Neill’s team have done so, and in some style too; three consecutive victories have put Northern Ireland top of the group, with some excellent results matched by the level of performances on the pitch. The opening day victory in Hungary illustrated their new-found belief to come back from a goal down to take all three points, while the 2-0 victory in Greece in Week 3 could rightly be placed alongside the country’s greatest ever results.


Another away day awaits Northern Ireland in Week 4 as they travel to face a Romania side who came within touching distance of qualifying for the 2014 World Cup. The two unbeaten teams in Group D come face-to-face in Bucharest in what promises to be a cauldron atmosphere for Michael O’Neill and his players to walk into, but such is the confidence flowing throughout the team they have more than enough to quiet the partisan crowd and secure an excellent result. Romania may not have any star names amongst their ranks, but have developed into a dangerous side who very rarely lose at home; only Ukraine, Holland and Turkey have left victorious since the start of 2011.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *