UEFA Nations League: Romania and Northern Ireland Starting With Clean Slates
Romania vs Northern Ireland
One of the biggest European showcases is finally here as the UEFA Nations League is set to kick off this week.
The top European national football teams will be put back into action after a 10-month hiatus, and a lot has changed since then.
Of course, there is still the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic, which effectively put football on pause for a considerable amount of time.
But with club football taking a short breather after just finishing their respective seasons, our favourite athletes will figure in a battle of attrition to help their respective countries achieve their team objectives.
One the matches this weekend will feature two upstarts in Romania and Northern Ireland.
This match isn’t exactly as high-profiled compared to the other matches previewed by my colleague, but this one should be action-packed nonetheless.
Although they haven’t performed too well in their last few international fixtures last year, this weekend should provide a good opportunity to pick themselves back up and create some sort of momentum.
Today we feature the latest news about these teams while examining on how they would matchup against each other.
Who will step up for Romania?
Romania are filled with young players eager to prove themselves in this tournament.
They probably did a lot of reflecting especially after performing badly towards the end of the Euro 2020 qualifying rounds 10 months ago.
The Mirel Radoi-coached squad were crushed by the mighty Spaniards in their last international fixture. Prior to that, they were beaten badly by Sweden too.
Having learned the painful lessons from last year, they will be looking to use it as fuel starting this weekend.
Romania have a good record against Northern Ireland as they are unbeaten in three games, with two wins
Some key players to look out for Romania are the likes of Alexandru Mitrita, Razvan Marin, and Ianis Hagi.
Alexandru Mitrita plays as a winger for NYC FC in the MLS and he is one of their top marksmen, having notched 12 goals and two assists in 30 appearances last season.
Ianis Hagi is slowly building his name as one of Europe’s emerging young stars. The 21-year-old plays as an attacking midfielder for the Rangers in the Scottish Premiership.
Razvan Marin, on the other hand, will also be a reliable presence in the middle for Romania. The 24-year-old is set to suit up for Cagliari, after winning the Eredivisie title playing for Ajax last term.
Gaining experience will be the main priority for Romania. However, the other teams would be wise to not take them lightly.
Northern Ireland usher in a new regime
There’s a new man in charge for Northern Ireland as they try to build off their success last year.
Ian Baraclough has been appointed to take over the coaching helm and there will be some pressure for him to continue the heralded Michael O’Neill era.
The 49-year-old manager has been working with the Irish Football Association for quite some time now.
Baraclough worked previously as the boss of Northern Ireland’s U-21 squad and he transformed them to be a winning side, which includes a 2-1 win over Spain in 2018 that had big names such as Mikel Oyarzabal, Borja Mayoral, and Pablo Fornals.
He also worked closely as an assistant to Michael O’Neill, so it was natural that he’ll be promoted once the latter already announced that he’ll leave the team to manage Stoke City in the English Championship.
Northern Ireland will have some established names in their roster.
The Green and White army will be led by skipper Steven Davis, who is set to make his 119th appearance this weekend, while he will be joined by veterans Jordan Jones, Corry Evans, Conor Washington, and Joel Cooper.
Meanwhile, Northern Ireland wil no longer have Mark Sykes in the squad since the 23-year-old has pledged allegiance to the Republic of Ireland.
International matches between Romania and Northern Ireland come only once in a blue moon.
In fact, they’ve only faced each other three times prior to Saturday, with Romania winning in two fixtures along with one draw.
Their first-ever match happened back in 2006 where it ended with a 2-0 scoreline, the same exact thing happened eight years later.
Their previous encounter happened in 2015 where it ended in a goalless draw.
Since the sample size is too small to draw possible conclusions, I’m heavily leaning towards recommending bettors to monitor the goal total instead.
Neither team have shown the capability to punch in plenty of goals, which is why I recommend placing your wagers on Under 2.50 @ 1.83. You can also bet on Total Goal 0-1 @ 2.04.
Looking at the latest UEFA Nations League 2020 odds in the 1×2 market, the Romanians are slightly favoured to win as they are priced at 2.26, while Northern Ireland are priced at 3.25 and chances of a draw are at 3.05.
Overall, this figures to be an interesting matchup for this weekend. To learn more about the latest UEFA Nations League 2020 updates, continue to tune in here at SBOTOP.
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Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.
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