Nigel Worthington has been in charge of the Northern Ireland team for nearly four and a half years, although the 49-year-old will step down after Tuesday night’s match in Pescara, with the former Norwich manager deciding that enough is enough.
The Northern Irish aren’t really expected to qualify for major tournaments, although there has been a noticeable downturn in recent performances and results, with Estonia winning 2-1 at Windsor Park on Friday to extinguish any hope that the home side had when it came to qualifying for Euro 2012.
Worthington will now ask his players for one last proud display against an Italian side that have easily finished top of Group C and the visitors are 18/1 (Paddy Power – £100 free bets) to win their second away game in the group, having won at Slovenia thirteen months ago.
It will be a tall order to even get a draw against a team that are starting to rebuild after a dismal 2010 World Cup which saw them fail to get out of a relatively easy qualifying group. The Azzurri drew 1-1 in Serbia on Friday and they are a best price 1/5 (Victor Chandler – £25 free betting) to mean that Nigel Worthington bows out with a defeat.
Giuseppe Rossi could be the man to crush the Irish and the Villarreal man catches the eye at a rather large 4/1 with bet365 to score the first goal.