With the Premier League season done and dusted, attention turns to more fun fixtures to commemorate the Football Association’s 150th anniversary. Following on from February’s win over Brazil, the first victory in 23 years, the Republic of Ireland make their way across the Irish Sea to play their first game at Wembley since the stadium was rebuilt.
The last time the sides met at Wembley was 1991 in a European Championship Qualifier. Lee Dixon opened the scoring after nine minutes with his only England goal but Niall Quinn equalised before half time and the game eventually finished 1-1. However, the most recent time the two nations met dates back to 1995, and was a game remembered more for extreme crowd trouble in Dublin, than the action on the field. The game itself was abandoned after just 27 minutes with Eire leading by a single goal from David Kelly.
Whilst most would consider the result at the time of the abandonment a fluke, the head-to-head statistics would point in the favour of Roy Hodgson’s weakened side to take the spoils from this friendly fixture. However, should England record victory in this friendly fixture; it would be their first over their neighbours since a 2-1 win on the 26th March 1985, some 28 years ago.
Despite the long wait for an England victory, the home side can be backed at a best price of 4/9 to take the spoils against Giovanni Trapattoni’s side. More likely, however, would be both sides playing out a low scoring draw, with 1-1 the most likely outcome. Of seven stalemates played out between the teams, six of those seven have finished with the teams scoring a solitary goal a-piece.
Should you fancy backing the draw, then it’s available at 6/1, with 8/1 being offered for a seventh 1-1 stalemate between the nations.
Trapattoni’s men, unsurprisingly, are large outsiders to get a result on the Wembley turf, having never won a game in England’s capital city. Their one and only positive result against England on English soil came at Goodison Park in 1949, where the Emerald Isle recorded a 2-0 victory. At 10/3 to upset the home apple cart against an under strength side, there could be value in this market for shrewd bettors.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing