Irish must go on the attack

Pacemaker Belfast 15-08-2012 Northern Ireland v Finland - International Friendly Northern Ireland's Kyle Lafferty sends in a fierce drive during tonight's International match at Windsor Park in Belfast

Northern Ireland simply have to push for victory when they head to Switzerland for the second leg of their World Cup qualifying play-off tie.

A damaging 1-0 defeat in Belfast leaves the Green and White Army needing to win at all costs on Sunday and grabbing the first goal of the game at St. Jakob-Park in Basel will surely be crucial to the final outcome.

The visitors are 7/2 to score first in the game, while a Swiss first goal at 5/13 would almost certainly kill the tie off.

Keeping a clean sheet will also be something of a necessity if the Irish are to upset the odds and qualify for the World Cup finals for the first time since 1986.

Odds of 15/4 for them to do so are pretty long, but with everything on the line it might just be worth a small wager even if defender Corry Evans is missing due to suspension.

Meanwhile, the hosts know only too well that a draw will be enough to secure their passage to Russia next summer, so a score draw at 6/1 could be a tempting option, even if the Irish have only scored once in their last three games.

While this tie is still in the balance, there appears to be little hope for 2004 European champions Greece after they were thrashed 4-1 in Croatia in the first leg of their play-off.

Again the first goal of the game is an imperative for the hosts if they are to engineer a fantastic turnaround, so 29/20 for Greece to score the first goal looks a decent option.

However, having shown their attacking prowess in the home leg, Croatia are unlikely to merely sit back in the return and 21/10 for Andrej Kramaric to score at any time has some merit, given that he has scored three times in his last two games for the national team.