Its Ireland v England live from Croke Park today as Victor Chandler release the latest Six Nations odds and report the Irish could be the value for punters as England arrive Dublin.
This clash between England and Ireland could go a long way to deciding where the Six Nations trophy will be heading come the end of this tournament.
Both sides currently have the winning mentality and possess the necessary weapons to become Grand Slam champions.
Following their impressive 38-18 victory over Scotland last weekend, England will be in buoyant mood but their opponents will also be high on life after their wonderful first half display laid the foundations for a 30-22 win over Wales.
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This is a fixture that has plenty of history and plotlines aplenty.
England still will be reeling from their inability to secure the Grand Slam two years ago in this corresponding fixture.
They went into the game knowing a win would have secured the Grand Slam bur fluffed their lines when the pressure was on, slipping to a 24-8 defeat after a man-of-the-match display from the ever reliable Ireland skipper Brian O’Driscoll.
With France’s surprise defeat in Italy last weekend, the Six Nations now looks a straight match-up between both Ireland and England. The Emerald Isle, who were very well backed with nearly all online firms pre-tournament, are now as short as 6/4 to win the title, whilst England are clear favourites around the 6/5 mark with William Hill.
England haven’t won in Dublin since 2003, but there is a certain feeling about this current England side that they are building something special under coach Stuart Lancaster. Usually, England would be big outsiders for a trip to Ireland however the betting markets have the visitors at best-priced Evens with 888Sport.com.
But such is the tight-nature of this match, Ireland are also very popular with punters around the Even money mark.
Ladbrokes, Bet365 and Paddy Power all have the hosts at 10/11 to continue their quest of winning their first Grand Slam since 2009.
However good Ireland were in the first half against Wales, where they roared into a 23-3 lead at the break, Lancaster will have noted how easy they were to break down by the Welsh in the second period. They went from cruise control to panic stations in the last 15 minutes as Wales could have nicked the game if being more clinical in the final stages.
They will need to be switched on for 90 minutes against England, who have to be considered as one of the best sides in the world currently after their win against New Zealand in the autumn.
England do have a selection dilemma for Sunday’s clash though with inspirational centre Manu Tuilagi back from an ankle injury.
This leaves Lancaster with a tough choice whether to drop one of Billy Twelvetrees or Brad Barritt or continue with a centre-partnership that completely dominated against Scotland. Twelvetrees, especially, was exceptional against the Scots and scored a wonderful try on his debut.
Gordon D’Arcy and O’Driscoll will surely have their work cut out to stop whoever England decide to base their attacks around.
Lancaster will also give a late fitness test to Ben Morgan. If Morgan is ruled out, then Tom Wood will stay at number eight.
Much of Ireland’s chances surround whether O’Driscoll continues to drive his team forward from midfield. O’Driscoll equalled Mike Gibson’s record number of Championship starts – 56 – and scored his 26th try of the Six Nations as he crashed over early on against Wales.
He continues to defy his ageing limbs and has to be of interest to score the first try this weekend at 14/1 with 888Sport.com.
On the England front, Chris Ashton thrives on big occasions like these, and he looks an interesting punt to notch fist at 9/1 with Paddy Power.