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'They know that England are going to raise their game'

By Josh Raisey
PA

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Any ambitions of catching France in this year’s Guinness Six Nations will be extinguished for either second place Ireland or third place England come Saturday evening after their round four meeting in London.

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The England camp have viewed the last three matches of the Championship as a quarter-final, semi-final and final and after sneaking past Wales in the round three, the challenges only get harder from here. Before they even think about France in round five, England will have to get past an Ireland side Eddie Jones has labelled the “most cohesive side in the world,” and favourites going into the match.

Ireland have been hit with the withdrawal of loosehead Andrew Porter, who will miss the rest of the Championship with an ankle injury, while there is a question mark over England’s Alex Dombrandt following a positive Covid-19 result last week.

When, where and how to watch the match
The match will kick-off at 16:45 (UK) on Saturday March 12th at Twickenham and will be broadcast live on ITV in the UK, RTÉ in Ireland, Stan Sport in Australia and SuperSport in South Africa.

Head-to-head
Saturday’s match will be the 139th Anglo-Irish meeting since their first in 1875, with England leading the series with 50 wins to Ireland’s 30, with eight draws. England have won six of their last ten encounters, although Ireland came out on top 32-18 at the Aviva Stadium the last time the sides did battle.

Match odds from bet365
bet365 have the handicap on Ireland at -1, with 11/10 odds that England win. There are also 20/1 odds that the match finishes a draw.

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Prediction
Joining Brian Moore on his Full Contact podcast last week, former England winger Topsy Ojo said that the challenge for Ireland is backing up their impressive home victories against Wales and Italy in this year’s Championship with an away victory. But he stressed that England are likely to raise their game.

“Doing it at home is one thing,” Ojo said. “And even pre-red card against Italy you saw that, they did the same against Wales, scored early, got out the blocks quick and implemented their style that we’ve seen now time and time, especially from the autumn. But going away from home is a different prospect. Coming to Twickenham and almost with how England have been, they know that England are going to raise their game. So it does make for a really fascinating contest, but Ireland will almost know that they need this one.”

*Odds accurate as of 07/03/22.

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