Scotland V England Saturday 24th February. 4:45PM. BBC One Scotland v England renew their rivalry…
Republic of Ireland V England
Sunday 7th June. 1PM. ITV
Club football might be over for the summer but there’s still plenty of international matches to keep us entertained starting with a mouth-watering Sunday lunch friendly at the Aviva Stadium.
The last time England faced the Republic of Ireland in Dublin was marred by infamous scenes of crowd trouble and everyone will be hoping to see passions expressed on the pitch rather than the terraces.
With both nations involved in Euro 2016 qualifying action next weekend, this is a great test for both squads. Expect an afternoon of immense drama.
[quote_center]Get a £20 free bet for Ireland v England at SkyBet[/quote_center]
Can Irish Strike It Lucky?
The 2014/15 campaign has been a mixed bag for Martin O’Neill’s men but the Green Army will be eager to give their fans something to cheer about against one of their arch enemies.
Ireland claimed a credible draw when the sides last met at Wembley in 2013 but this is a great opportunity to really claim some bragging rights. Expect the hosts to be well up for this battle.
The hosts have named their strongest squad with the likes of Robbie Keane, Shane Long, seamus Coleman and Aiden McGeady all included. With the vocal crowd providing the 12th man, perhaps they can produce a memorable result.
Ireland’s priority has to be next Saturday’s crucial Euro 2016 qualifier with Scotland. Nevertheless, you can expect O’Neill’s men to compete for every ball. Whether they can cause an upset is another question altogether.
England Looking To Maintain Unbeaten 2014/15
A dismal World Cup in Brazil signalled the end of an era for Roy Hodgson’s side as several long-time servants called it day on the international stage. It has been a near faultless 2014/15 for the Three Lions, though, with March’s draw in Turin the only blemish on this season’s record.
Skipper Wayne Rooney has played a major role in the new look side, as have midfielders Jordan Henderson and Fabian Delph. Rising star Harry Kane burst onto the scene with a debut goal against Lithuania but is with Gareth Southgate’s U21s, who head to the Czech Republic for tournament action.
That has paved the way for Jamie Vardy’s shock call-up and the Leicester City man is joined by fellow new face Charlie Austin, who will be hoping to great year individually with a first international strike. However, they could face stiff competition after Theo Walcott’s end of season heroics for Arsenal.
Hodgson will be expected to tinker a little with his side, particularly after half-time. However, with a potentially tricky trip to Slovenia awaiting next Sunday the England boss will be eager to build some momentum. It should be an interesting contest to say the least.
Republic of Ireland V England Betting Tips
If you fancy England to win in Dublin, you could end up doubling your money as the Three Lions are priced Evens with Bet365. Meanwhile, the hosts are available at 11/4 whilst the draw is 12/5.
From a betting perspective, it’s hard to bet against England getting something from the game but this spirited Irish side are more than capable of giving Hodgson’s side something to think about.
Despite losing, Scotland were able to score against the Three Lions in Glasgow last November and we fancy Ireland to repeat that feat. However, we wouldn’t be surprised if this friendly ends in a draw and are sticking with the goals.
[quote_center]Tip: BTTS Yes @ 11/10 with Coral[/quote_center]
The end of season friendlies are always difficult to predict as it’s hard to even know who will play and how competitive the contest will be. Nevertheless, we can’t ignore the recent international form of Wayne Rooney and have to fancy his chances of a goal.
There’s a good chance that Rooney won’t play the whole game as Hodgson will want to look at the likes of Vardy and Austin. However, with just three goals separating the skipper from his place as England’s all-time top scorer, we’re backing him to take another huge step to that milestone in Ireland.
[quote_center]Tip: Wayne Rooney to score anytime @ 2/1 with SkyBet[/quote_center]