Tuesday, February 05, 2008



There is a pretty big quality difference between these two teams. The Irish have just 4 players currently with Premiership clubs, plus two with Celtic, they have one "name" in the side. Eighteen of the English team are with top flight clubs and at least 11, could be termed regular starters, most could be named by even casual obsevers of "the beautiful game".

England have conceded just a solitary goal in 6 qualifying matches, that coming in a 1-1 away draw, to their only real group rivals, Portugal, last time out. They won the reverse fixture 3-0 and with places in the full squad still up for grabs, the whole team will be out to impress new n.t boss Fabio Capello, as indeed will U21 coach Stuart Pearce, who is part of the Italian's backroom team and will be joining up with him after this game, with a full report on the U21's. So, I do not see anything other than a fully committed performance and expect class to tell. Ireland have managed only a single goal in 4 qualifying matches.

England Under-21 squad: Hart (Man City), Heaton (Man Utd), Lewis (Peterborough), Gardner (Villa), Mancienne (Chelsea), Mattock (Leicester), Shawcross (Stoke), Taylor (Newcastle), Wheater (Middlesbrough), Huddlestone (Tottenham), Johnson (Middlesbrough), Lennon (Tottenham), Milner (Newcastle), Muamba (Birmingham), Noble, (West Ham), O'Hara (Tottenham), Surman (Southampton), Jerome (Birmingham), Moore (Aston Villa), Vaughan (Everton), Walcott (Arsenal).

6.5 points England U21 -1.75 goals 2.03 asian line.... now 1.93

Good Luck.

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