England vs Republic of Ireland
Two old foes come face to face at Wembley on Thursday night when Stephen Kenny takes Ireland to meet Gareth Southgate’s England, and both teams will be desperate for a result, following dismal defeats in their last outings.
International Friendly: England vs Ireland gives both teams a chance to wipe the slate clean but the two nations have contrasting aspirations. The Three Lions are among the favourites to win Euro 2021, as well as the UEFA Nations League, but they came under heavy criticism following a poor performance last time out against Denmark. Southgate’s men face Belgium on Sunday and, with places up for grabs, the starting 11 will be in no doubt that anything less than a win on Thursday is a failure. Ireland fans will be hoping for a goal, or maybe even a goalless draw…despite playing some decent football at intervals, their team has failed to hit the net in four matches.
Here at SBOTOP, we’re backing an England win and another disappointing blank for the Irish.
Time for England to reset
A pitiful performance in the 0-1 Nations League defeat to Denmark was widely criticised in the UK press which had become impatient with a number of players. On that dismal night, Harry Maguire and Reece James were both sent off and, in recent weeks, the England boss has had as many off-the-field problems to deal with as playing issues.
Tammy Abraham, Jadon Sancho and Ben Chilwell were axed from the last squad having breached COVID rules, and that followed on from a previous incident in Iceland which meant young stars Phil Foden and Mason Greenwood were both excluded. Manchester City midfielder Foden has been recalled but Greenwood is still out in the cold, and there is no shortage of competition.
The recent withdrawal of Southampton dead-ball specialist James Ward-Prowse has seen a call-up for Borussia Dortmund’s 17-year-old star Jude Bellingham. Since his summer switch from Birmingham City to the Signal Iduna Park, he has really impressed and has already made ten appearances for the Bundesliga title chasers. Bellingham’s club mate Sancho also has a chance to redeem himself and could make a start.
And, while skipper Harry Kane remains the main man upfront, Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin has staked a claim, scoring nine goals in his first six games of the season, and one on his international debut against Wales. The 23-year-old has a mature head in his shoulders and that’s good news for his boss, who needs to reset this team in readiness for 2021.
Ireland must be more ruthless
The Republic of Ireland are in a sticky situation in Group B4 of the UEFA Nations League; two draws and two defeats have left them precariously a point above Bulgaria at the bottom, and in real danger of relegation.
And equally worrying for head coach Kenny, who is still waiting for a win, is that his team has failed to score a goal in the previous four games, the last strike coming from defender Shane Duffy when he plundered a 93rd-minute equaliser away to Bulgaria, over two months ago.
Striker David McGoldrick, who was never prolific, has retired from international football, and that means the scoring responsibility may fall onto West Brom forward Callum Robinson. If Ireland can get a foothold in the game there should be a supply of chances for the frontman, wing back Seamus Coleman is a dangerous attacking threat, as is Spurs’ wide man Matt Doherty, and the return from injury of Burnley’s Robbie Brady adds a spark.
Though both teams are aiming to bounce back from defeat, the recent form of each team bares little resemblance. The Three Lions were on a seven-match unbeaten run, while Ireland have to go back to November 2019 to find their most recent victory, a 3-1 friendly win over New Zealand.
We’re hoping for a better spectacle than the last time these two nations met, a dour 0-0 draw back in 2015. This time around the England vs Ireland betting odds back a Three Lions win at short odds of around 1.30, so let’s take a look to find the value in this game.
|England vs Republic of Ireland||Total Goals 2-3 @ 1.86|
|November 13, 04:00 (GMT+8)|
Recent history tells us this has never been the most exciting or expansive of fixtures, the last seven meetings yielding two goals or fewer, so there is plenty of merit in a bet on Under 2.75 goals at odds of 1.90.
But this England side is full of goals when it’s in the mood, scoring 37 in eight Euro 2021 qualifying matches; so I wouldn’t rule out a 3-0.
Keep it here folks when we’ll be back with all the England vs Ireland updates as they happen on Thursday night before a full set of Nations League fixtures starts at the weekend.
|A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR () BETS ARE WORTH:|
|= €20 (Highly confident)||= €10 (CONFIDENT)||= €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)|
Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.
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