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England vs Ireland in the Six Nations on March 12, 2022 - Odds & Prediction

England vs Ireland in the Six Nations on March 12, 2022 - Odds & Prediction

England and Ireland clash at Twickenham as they look to keep their Six Nations dreams alive.

Both sides head into this match on the back of two wins and one loss, and they know that defeat here will likely end their championship aspirations.

Having lost to Scotland on matchday one, England bounced back with an expected victory over Italy and then held off a spirited Welsh side to win 23-19.

Ireland, meanwhile, looked impressive in dismantling Wales in their opening match before losing to France in Paris and then defeating 13-man Italy 57-6 in a game that was basically a no-contest after 18 minutes.

England know that victory in this one will see them head to Paris to face the French in a championship decider, while an Irish win would see them still in the mix for the championship and with a Triple Crown to play for against Scotland.

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England +2 @ Evens

It's not very often England receive starts on the handicap at home in the Six Nations, and it's an opportunity that's too good to pass up.

England have tried to be more attack-minded this season, but they're very much a work in progress still, while Ireland come into this having learnt nothing from their victory over Italy.

Ireland have only won once at Twickenham in the Six Nations since 2011, and their last visit in 2020 saw them defeated 24-12.

The Irish look to dominate the ruck area, and they came up short against the French in Paris, and it's likely they could lose the battle at Twickenham too.

With Marcus Smith in scintillating form at 10, England can edge what's sure to be a thriller.

England form, squad news, opinion

England are in their normal transition phase between World Cups, and hosting Ireland will give Eddie Jones an accurate measure of where his squad is at.

They blew Wales away in the opening half before allowing the visitors to drag themselves back into it, but they can't afford to be that blasé against Ireland.

New faces have emerged for England, though - Marcus Smith is one of the most exciting players in world rugby, while Alex Dombrandt - Smith's club teammate at Harlequins - also impressed against the Welsh.

England fans will have to wait to see if Manu Tuilagi will feature against Ireland - the centre was a late withdrawal against Wales due to injury - and he adds another dimension to their backline. Tuilagi's power and the way he occupies defenders is unrivalled, and Jones will be hoping he can feature.

Ireland form, squad news, opinion

Ireland coach Andy Farrell will have been happy with his side's bonus-point victory over Italy, but he will have learnt little from the performance itself against 13 men.

The Irish were slow out the traps against France before clawing their way back into the match in Paris, and they know they can't afford to gift England a comfortable lead in this one.

Jamison Gibson-Park has looked sharp this campaign, and his battle with Harry Randall will go a long way to deciding who comes out on top in London.

And at 10, Farrell has a big call to make, with the experienced Johnny Sexton likely to get the call over Joey Carbery, who has impressed against France and Italy.

History

England and Ireland first clashed in 1875, and since then they have faced each other 138 times – with England winning 80, Ireland winning 50, and eight matches ending in a draw.

Home advantage has been key for England - they've won 47 of the 69 matches on home soil.

Last year's Six Nations match in Dublin saw Ireland run out 32-18 winners, and the last time the sides played at Twickenham was in the 2020 Autumn Nations Cup, when England won 18-7.

About the Venue

Twickenham has a capacity of 82,000 and is the home of English rugby - it's also the largest dedicated rugby union venue in the world.

Opened in 1909, it was a venue for the Rugby World Cup in 1991, 1999, and 2015, hosting the final in 1991 and 2015.

And in 2016 and 2017, it also hosted three NFL matches.

The current COVID-19 protocols in England mean that there are no set regulations for supporters attending the match - although they are recommended to wear a mask and are encouraged to have proof of their vaccination status.

Conclusion

Both sides will see this match as winnable as they look to keep themselves in the Six Nations title mix, but England know a victory in this will give them a real shot at landing the championship.

They looked sharp against Wales in the first half, and if they can maintain that performance against Ireland for the full 80, they should have enough in the tank to take the win.

The forwards battle will be critical as always, and like the French, England will aim to dominate proceedings upfront.