Northern Ireland - Poland

N.Ireland has seven points (the same as Czech, Poland and Slovenia), but from five games, one more than the rest. Slovakia is first with nine. N. Ireland's points are from a draw at home against Czech 0-0 and two wins against surely the worst team in Europe, San Marino. So, I think number of points is not representative. Their expectations (and odds) are based mainly on the previous WCQ campaign, when N.Ireland played excellent in group with Spain, Sweden and Denmark (didn't pass at the end). Big worries for national coach Nigel Worthington. Two very important players are suspended, Steve Davis and George McCartney. Plus, Lafferty, Paterson and McCourt are injured. It means five keys. Even if Worthington can count on the best players, it would be hard to resist. But, they have to attack tonight (how?).

Poland have two wins (Czech 2:1 at home and San Marino 2-0 on the road), a draw (Slovenia 1-1 at home) and a defeat (Slovakia 1-2 away). Beside that, they won a few friendlies. Poland has very specific way of play, everybody runs everywhere and shoot from every positions(something like Lithuania in basketball). At the first sight you have impression it is a complete mess on the pitch and it's a question of time when two their players will hit each other. But, that "mess" usually results with fast counter-attacks when sometimes four or five players from nowhere  pop up in front of opponent's goal. I remember Leo Beenhakker from the time when they played in group with Serbia. Creepy old man who always finds the way to f**k up all strategies that somebody can plan. Anyway, they have missings, too. Two keys, striker Pawel Brozek and midfielder Rafal Murawsk stayed at home 'cause the injuries. But, very important midfielder Blaszczykowski has recovered.

Hosts have to attack. Visitors will stay on own half at the start and wait for a chance for (mentioned) counter attack. I see Poland as the absolute favorites and think to bet on handicap win, too. Odds look sweet, 2.10 at 888, 2.05 at Expekt. Away win.