England and Ireland face off in a hastily-arranged friendly on Thursday night as Stephen Kenny’s side travel to Wembley for a tough-looking fixture.
We’ve got a nifty 9/1 Same Game Multi bet lined up, and with Paddy’s acca insurance that means if one of our four legs doesn’t land, we get our stake back (up to £/€10) as a free bet.
Thursday 8pm: England v Ireland
ITV 1 and ITV Player
Republic of Ireland might only be heading to Wembley as deputies to New Zealand, who had to pull out of the fixture over Covid concerns, but could be there be a better game so soon after Jack Charlton left to buy a round at the big pub in the sky? New Ireland manager Stephen Kenny could certainly do with a bit of ‘Wor Jack’s success when he takes his side to face England, after five games without a win in his tenure so far.
A victory here would also help the team bounce back from the disappointment of losing their Euro 2020 qualification play-off on penalties to Slovakia. And while they don’t face each other very often, the Boys In Green certainly have a good record against England.
Ireland are unbeaten in the last six meetings – the previous five have ended all square – and last tasted defeat so long ago that Gary Lineker scored the winner and Charlton hadn’t yet been appointed manager. But recent form doesn’t bode well for them ahead of this one.
Three draws and two defeats in 2020/21, when only one of the five games was against a nation who are above them in the FIFA rankings, doesn’t suggest that Kenny’s team can become only the fourth side to beat Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions on home soil. England might’ve lost their last match, 1-0 to Denmark, but they had won their previous nine straight games at Wembley, scoring 32 goals while only conceding five.
If the last international break is anything to go by, Southgate will send out a shadow side for this match, and hold his big guns back for the Nations League games later in the fortnight. Nonetheless, they should have too much for Republic of Ireland, who are still adjusting to Kenny’s style of play, and England can certainly overcome the handicap.
Does anyone here speak binary? If you do, it might help you to make sense of the score lines from games between Ireland and England since the former won in Stuttgart at Euro ’88. From that game onwards, the scores have been 1-0, 1-1, 1-1, 1-1, 1-1 and 0-0. England have opened the scoring three times in that sequence, Ireland twice, but far more often than not, both teams found the back of the net eventually.
It’s been a similar story for Ireland this season too, with their results since the start of September reading 1-1, 0-1, 0-0, 0-0 and 0-1. England have had three ‘one goal or fewer’ games of their own, which certainly doesn’t leave one feeling optimistic that this match will be entertaining and Both Teams Not To Score could be the answer. But then what do you want from a meaningless friendly jammed into a ludicrously overstuffed international schedule in the middle of a global pandemic?
PHIL THOMPSON: My 7/2 pick for tonight’s England v Ireland friendly
Oh, yeah, to be entertained would be nice. But it’s just so hard to make a case that Ireland will get on the score sheet in this one. Sorry, Paddy. Only two of Ireland’s 11 games since the start of last season have paid out on over 2.5 goals, and I can’t see anything other than Under 2.5 Goals landing again here.
Harry Kane and Marcus Rashford were given the night off for the visit of Wales for a friendly in the October international break, in order to keep them fresh to collectively score one goal, from the penalty spot, in the following Nations League matches. Not that England are likely to win any penalties here. They wouldn’t resort to diving, as it’s an insult to Nobby Stiles and the game he loved, obviously.
It’s reasonable to assume Southgate will do similar in terms of resting players here, and he’ll probably leave out Raheem Sterling too, even though the Manchester City man missed the last international break through injury. Or at least that’s what Pep Guardiola told him to say.
The England boss is sadly without Danny Ings due to injury too, so he might opt to start Tammy Abraham and Dominic Calvert-Lewin up front, so they can add to their four and three caps respectively. The Everton man is in much better form of the duo, so back him to get on the score sheet for the second friendly in a row.
* All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widget, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.
Tips for England v Ireland
- These four selections in a Same Game Multi will give you odds of around 9/1 with Paddy Power.
Same Game Multi Acca insurance
If one leg of your 4+ fold Same Game Multi lets you down, you get up to £/€10 back as a free bet. Customers can qualify for 1 SGM Acca Insurance per day up to £/€10. The free bets will be credited by 12pm the following day.
Learn more about the Same Game Multi here.
- Phil Thompson: I’m predicting misery for Scotland AND Northern Ireland tonight
- Our 3 best bets as Serbia host Scotland in playoff decider
- Moore to score as Wales host USA in Swansea tonight
- Penalties look likely in tonight’s NI v Slovakia qualifier – our 3 top tips
- Peter Crouch: I couldn’t believe Liverpool signed me – I thought they’d want the cream of the crop!
- Revealed: Ozil Offers To Pay Arteta’s Wages If Arsenal Keep Playing This Bad
- Fulham Penalty Pain Sees Punter Turn £1 Into £2,500 Off 14-Fold Acca