Given their historic rivalry, and in light of the Euro 2016 qualifiers which follow it, Republic of Ireland’s international against England is likely to defy its friendly tag.
While no one is expecting anything like the repeat of crowd trouble that marred the last clash on Irish soil, which had to be abandoned 20 years ago, there’s no doubt the supporters will witness an intensely competitive spectacle.
In fact, when the sides last met two years ago at Wembley the game passed without any such drama and the result, from a betting perspective, was significant.
It was the fourth time in a row the home nations have drawn 1-1 since a group-stage encounter at World Cup Italia 90.
A fifth consecutive 1-1 is a more salivating prospect for punters at 5/1, if not for the legions of fans crammed into the Aviva Stadium.
Although Roy Hodgson has opted to give a few newbies such as Charlie Austin a trial run it seems unlikely the England manager will deviate far from his settled line-up in Dublin.
The Three Lions have Slovenia next and will not want to lose the unbeaten momentum which will have stretched to a calendar year should they swerve defeat in both their forthcoming June fixtures.
Closing in on Sir Bobby Charlton’s record will be skipper Wayne Rooney, who is in the midst of another Three Lions purple patch, netting seven in his last eight appearances for his country.
The Manchester United striker is a 15/8 chance to score any time, while for Martin O’Neill’s Boys in Green, Shane Long looks a good prospect to trouble the English rearguard.
The last man on the scoresheet for Ireland is 11/4 in the same market.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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