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England v Ireland Tips: Grealish to shine at Wembley against Ireland

Jack Grealish has started the season in excellent form and features in our 25/1 play for Thursday's game
Jack Grealish has started the season in excellent form and features in our 25/1 play for Thursday's game

England take on Ireland in a friendly on Thursday which can hopefully add some spice to this gloomy International break amidst the misery of a second national lockdown. The last time these two sides met was back in 2015 in Dublin when the teams played out a goalless draw.  Our resident columnist @AnthonyEadson is on hand and has three football tips for the game.

England are favourites for Thursday’s clash with the bookmakers giving them 78% implied chance of victory with odds of just 3/10 to win the game. The draw is available to be backed at 15/4, with a win for Ireland which would be their first on English soil since 1949, priced at 10/1.

Trent Alexander-Arnold and James Ward-Prowse have both withdrawn from the England squad through injury with Marcus Rashford not expected to join the group until Thursday due to a shoulder injury. Jude Bellingham has been given his first call-up at the age of 17, with Jack Grealish and Dominic Calvert-Lewin set to feature from the off.

Nottingham Forest’s Cryrus Christie has been called up to the Ireland squad to replace the injured Enda Stevens. David McGoldrick has since retired from International after last month's fixtures, with the visitors also being without forwards Callum Robinson and Aaron Connelly. 

England to win to nil - 1.5pts @ 11/10 BetVictor, Evens (1/1) Paddy Power

Reece James 1+ shot on target - 1.5pts @ 21/10 Paddy Power, Betfair

Jack Grealish 2+ shots on target, James McCarthy to be carded - 0.25pts @ 25/1 Paddy Power

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The first of three selections I like the look of for England v Ireland on Thursday is England to win to nil. At the time of writing this is currently best priced with BetVictor, who go 11/10 for the Three Lions to win and keep a clean sheet. Despite failing to win in their last two matches I’ve got quite a lot of confidence in England pulling out the victory on Thursday.

Southgate’s side have won their last five friendlies and have only conceded one goal in the process. There’s plenty of players who will be using this game as an audition for a place in next Summer’s Euro 2021 squad and who will want to put in a big performance. Astonishingly, the last six meetings between the two sides have ended in a draw, but with England’s recent friendly record and the quality and depth in the squad, they should come out comfortable winners. 

Next up one selection that has caught my eye from the shots on target market is Reece James to register one or more on target, priced at 21/10 with both Paddy Power and Betfair. One player I’ve been impressed with over recent weeks is Chelsea’s right-back who has put in some good performances for Frank Lampard’s side and has looked excellent going forward as well as in defence.

With James suspended for the forthcoming UEFA Nations League matches he should start this game and be deployed in a more advanced role than for his club as a right-wing-back with England playing a back three. The 20-year-old registered two shots on target in England’s game against Denmark in October and also registered one on target for Chelsea at the weekend against Sheffield United. I think with James playing slightly further forward and being in good form at the moment, the 21/10 for him to have one or more shots on target looks a decent proposition.

UEFA Nations League Betting

The third and final selection I’ve picked out is for Jack Grealish to have two or more shots on target with James McCarthy to be carded at 25/1 with Paddy Power.

Jack Grealish is another who has started the 2020/21 season in superb form. The 25-year-old has recorded five assists and has scored four goals in the Premier League this season and has left Gareth Southgate no option but to include him in his plans. Grealish has landed at least two shots on target in two of his last five games for Aston Villa and with the form he’s in it would be no surprise to see him rack up the attempts on goal. 

Coupled with Grealish is Ireland’s James McCarthy to be carded. The Crystal Palace midfielder has been booked on 64 occasions in his career with nine of those coming in the Premier League for Palace last season. 17 of McCarthy’s 33 appearances in the league last campaign came from the substitutes bench and I think he should be fired up for the meeting of two old foes at Wembley on Thursday. 

The game can be viewed live on ITV kicking off at 8pm. Enjoy the game and best of luck to those following the predictions. Please always gamble responsibly.

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