An International break is upon us, a nightmare if your club team is in good form, a welcome relief if you have been watching your side get thrashed in recent weeks. The main talking points this week have been England’s injury ravaged side facing Brazil and Republic Of Ireland’s chances of upsetting 1998 World Cup winners France in the World Cup Playoffs.
England first, and they face the prospect of just two regulars (Wayne Rooney and Gareth Barry) taking part against Brazil after Frank Lampard withdrew from the squad and John Terry became a doubt. Apparently Chelsea are going to sue the FA for Lampard’s injury for making him sit on a cramped flight to Qatar, on a seat that barely reclined. Well now he knows how the rest of us feel!
It’s no surprise that Brazil are favourites for the game but there isn’t much between the nation that has played in three of the last four World Cup Finals (and won two of them) and the team whose best ‘recent’ performance was reaching the semi final 20 years ago. Brazil are joint favourites to win the World Cup unsurprisingly, they are around 5/1 but who is this at third favourites? England? Fabio Capello’s men have World Cup Odds of just 6/1 with most bookies.
Republic Of Ireland have a much better chance of qualifying against France than many think, France didn’t look as though they would even reach the playoffs for much of the qualifying campaign. They also struggled away from home, losing to Austria and beating group whipping boys Faroe Islands and Lithuania 1-0 and scraping draws away to Romania and Serbia. Ireland have a great chance and are perhaps one of the best World Cup Tips at this early stage to win their home tie against France in Dublin on Saturday.