CHRIS Graham (@chrisgraham79) takes a look at the best bets for this late-season friendly.
Ireland v England | Sunday 13:00 | ITV1
Has there ever been such little fanfare for an England match? Not even friendlies against Norway and Honduras have created so much apathy around the place. And this is Ireland they’re up against! Long time foes on many many levels.
But it’s all about the timing isn’t it? Last night we gorged ourselves over the Champions League Final and now we have this. Bit like pulling a ‘babe’ on a Saturday night then waking up on Sunday morning and realising you’ve made a huge error. Hey, we’ve all been there.
The aim of this exercise is for these sides to get in shape for Euro 2016 qualifiers next week. Ireland face a huge match against Scotland on Saturday while England face a not so huge match against Slovenia in their Group Of (Slow And Boring) Death.
I think it’s a fair statement to suggest that Martin O’Neill’s 19 month tenure in charge of Ireland hasn’t set the world on fire. Two wins in his opening eight fixtures (all friendlies) got things off to a lumpen start before the Euro 2016 qualifiers kicked in. A brilliant draw in Germany has been the positive, but a defeat to Scotland and a home draw against Poland has made the second half of the group trickier.
England are just England really. Solid as a rock in qualifying. P5 W5 so far and just one goal in the Goals Against column. They’re also unbeaten in friendlies since November 2013 with wins against the likes of Denmark and Scotland on their CV.
When you see it’s Ireland v England you take a step back and think about the external factors involved, but in reality does this game really mean much from a national pride point of view now? Perhaps for Ireland, but surely not England. Wasn’t Prince Charles hanging out with Gerry Adams the other day?
These sides met two years ago at Wembley in a 1-1 draw, in fact the last four meetings ended 1-1 and Under 2.5 Goals punters have been paid out in eight of the last nine contests between the sides.
A glance at the betting sees England as short as 11/10. I’ll pass on that thanks. The 16/5 on Ireland makes more appeal in truth. England have won just one of their last five away friendlies.
The bet that appeals to me is the 11/10 with BetVictor on exactly 2-3 goals. The stats don’t really back it up to be honest but for me the likes of 1-1, 2-0 England or 2-1 to either side are big runners in this game. I can’t see a flurry of goals but then I’d be surprised if it was a dull 0-0 draw.
As I got the winning Correct Score correct in Saturday night’s Champions League game I’ll have another pop and back 2-1 England at a rather large 9/1.
Ireland v England – 2-3 Total Goals (11/10 BetVictor)
Ireland v England – England to win 2-1 (9/1 BetVictor)
All these sides are favourites in their game on Sunday and you can back the treble at 15/1 with Betfair.
Juts open an account on Sunday to qualify for those enhanced odds.