England v Rep of Ireland: Motivated Ireland can push the hosts all the way

29May 2013



Daniel McDonnell provides the Irish angle on Wednesday night's international friendly between England and Rep of Ireland, and he fancies the Three Lions will get their  noses in front eventually...


End of season friendlies often come with a health warning for punters, but the Wembley meeting of England and Ireland could also provide a stern test for the wellbeing  of players coping with the rigours of a long season.


It is hard to avoid the conclusion that England's approach to this match will be decisive. For Ireland, it's a big deal, with the training sessions this week played at  high intensity, and various players coming forward to stress they won't be holding back. They will make sure this game operates at a frantic pace.


The desperation of certain Irish players to make this game demonstrates that point, with Robbie Keane convincing LA Galaxy to change their mind after they initially  blocked him from travelling. He is prioritising this friendly over a competitive game for his employers.


For the English, this game does not have the same significance. While some of the Irish squad are well rested after the conclusion of the Championship season or an  unstressful mid table finish in the Premier League, some of Roy Hodgson's stars finished their Premier League campaign by getting on a plane to play money spinning  games around the world.


Spurs went to the Caribbean; Manchester City and Chelsea lined out twice in the States. Hodgson will have to juggle his options to find a motivated side that can  respond to the Irish energy, yet at the same time he also has to balance his needs ahead of their forthcoming trip to Brazil. If they're not at the races, then an  inferior Irish group could benefit.


Certainly, if Ireland are to have any chance, they should burst out of the blocks with purpose. And the initial temptation is to look at the Half Time market. It's  2.48 about a draw, and Ireland are capable of keeping things level to that point.


Giovanni Trapattoni may be tempted to stick with his initial starting XI at that point - and has picked his strongest available team aside from taking no risks with  left back Marc Wilson calf problem who is replaced by Stephen Kelly - but he has committed to making six subs in the second half. With England having greater options  in reserve, this phase of the match could tilt the game towards the hosts. They are 4.8 to triumph in the second half after a half time draw.


On that vein, the 1.84 about the second half providing the most goals is worth a few quid.


Aside from those bets, it may be worth looking for some value in some of the more unusual markets. With Trapattoni likely to introduce his favoured target man Conor  Sammon in the second half - even though heading the ball isn't actually his greatest strength - and England likely to exert pressure throughout, then the 3.1 about 10-12 corners might be a tentative play.


The bottom line, however, is that Ireland are capable of making this more of a contest than the overall match odds suggest, and they could be a lay at 1.99 with a view to backing them as the game progresses.. A 2-1 win for England in the Correct Score market is the call on the final outcome.


Recommended Bet

Back Half Time Draw @ 2.48

Back Draw HT/England FT @ 4.8

Back Half With Most Goals - 2nd Half @ 1.84

Back 10-12 Corners @ 3.1

Back 2-1 Correct Score @ 9.8



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Keywords: England, Rep of Ireland

Source: Betfair

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