Our prediction for this match:
All eyes will be on Wembley Stadium when England and Republic of Ireland face each other in a friendly on Thursday evening. The Three Lions suffered a shocking 1-0 loss to Denmark in the Nations League last month, meaning that they are eager to return to winning ways. Liverpool full-back Trent Alexander-Arnold suffered an injury in a 1-1 draw with Man City at the weekend, and, as a result, he is going to miss the Ireland friendly.
Danny Ings and Kalvin Phillips are injured as well, while Phil Foden returns to the squad. As always, a man to watch in the home team will be Tottenham ace Harry Kane. The Boys in Green, on the other hand, aim to make amends for a 1-0 loss to Finland. David McGoldrick announced his retirement from international football, with Luton Town attacker James Collins stepping up. Anyhow, regardless of which players will be deployed in Wednesday’s friendly, home win should be considered as England are eager to bounce back from the loss to Denmark.
Highlighted Player (Harry Kane):
Widely regarded as one of England’s best strikers at the moment, Harry Kane enjoyed a meteoric rise at Tottenham Hotspur, scoring 21 Premier League goals during the 2014/2015 campaign to be voted PFA Young Player of the Year.
The highly rated striker went on to surpass that achievement the following season as he helped Tottenham Hotspur mount a serious title challenge for the first time in club’s recent history and he made seamless transition to international football. Kane scored four goals in his first ten appearances for England to prove he was here to stay and at the same time established himself as a first choice striker in Roy Hodgson’s squad ahead of the Euro 2016 finals.
Kane is a modern striker, who is extremely dangerous in the opposition box, but it was some outstanding goals from distance as well as link-up play with teammates that earned him an excellent reputation in world football. Kane is expected to lead both Tottenham and England in years to come, that is if he can resist the lure of top European clubs that continue to cast admiring glances his way.
Highlighted Team (Ireland):
Competing as an independent entity since 1953, Republic of Ireland have struggled to match the world’s best national teams ever since, although they did achieve several respectable results on the road. Their best ever result, the 1990 World Cup quarter-final, was achieved with a big smile from Lady Luck seeing that the Irish reached the last eight without winning a single match.
They have since reached the last 16 stage at the 1994 and 2002 tournaments, while only qualifying for three European Championship finals (1988, 2012, 2016). The Irish were in the top 10 of the FIFA Rankings in 1993 and 1994, but have failed to repeat the success in the next twenty odd years, and it appears they are no closer to bridging the gap behind European powerhouses.
Robbie Keane holds the record for most national team caps and goals at the same time, having bagged 67 in 143 appearances, whereas Niall Quinn, Steve Staunton, Damien Duff, Tony Cascarino and Don Givens are some of the other star players.