Republic of Ireland to reach World Cup as Brazil beat England, predicts Charlie Nicholas

Generic Charlie Nicholas image 10/08/2016
Image: Who does Charlie think will be the hero for Ireland?

Charlie Nicholas provides us with his predictions for the Republic of Ireland's World Cup play-off second leg with Denmark and England's friendly clash with Brazil.

Martin O'Neill's side will book their place in the World Cup finals with victory after holding out for a stalemate in Copenhagen, while Gareth Southgate's youthful England will look to build on a credible goalless draw with Germany.

Here's what Charlie is predicting for the two clashes...

Republic of Ireland v Denmark (Tuesday from 7pm, live on Sky Sports Football)

I had a glance at the odds and I was surprised to see Denmark favourites again. I fancied Ireland to get a result in Copenhagen and I think they can complete the job here.

It is never easy to predict a 0-0 draw but what we could predict was Ireland would identify Christian Eriksen as the main threat and they did a fantastic job in neutralising him.

Christian Eriksen (R) of Denmark vies for the ball against Jeff Hendrick and James McClean of Ireland during the play-off FIFA World Cup 2018 qualification
Image: Ireland managed to suffocate Christian Eriksen's creativity

You could see Eriksen looking at his team-mates by the end wondering why they weren't finding him in pockets of space, because that's what he's used to at Tottenham.

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I see their full-back areas as their main weakness, where Ireland really need to have a go at, and I think Cyrus Christie's pace on the right and Robbie Brady's quality on the is the key to exposing them.

I'm going for a narrow Ireland and I fancy Jeff Hendrick to be the hero here, with the Burnley link-up with Brady likely to be vital to their ability to creating chances.

Charlie predicts: 1-0 and Hendrick to score first (40/1 with Sky Bet)

Charlie's RequestABet

Charlie's RequestABet

Find out what Charlie is tipping up in his 28/1 Republic of Ireland v Denmark RAB here.

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England v Brazil (Tuesday 8pm)

Of the two friendlies, this is a tougher task because the Germany scenario was facing an organised side in a nice friendly contest, which has never been the case in previous encounters between those two sides, where there has always been an edge.

The was no real urgency, a few mistakes, some good performances, with Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Jordan Pickford doing particularly well, although Germany should have won with the chances they had.

Gareth Southgate contradicted himself, saying Jack Wilshere needs to play when Jesse Lingard hardly gets in the Manchester United team, but what he has done is gone down the youth route and he deserves credit for being courageous.

England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford during the International Friendly match at Wembley Stadium, London.
Image: Jordan Pickford kept Germany at bay on Friday night

He's bold, I'll give him that, to throw these kids in but I just don't know if he's going to get the mix right and I'm not sure who he's going to pick in his best starting XI. What he's done though is build up a big group of players he can select from.

The concern for these young players is that Brazil will have more of a go at them at Wembley. Neymar loves to put on a show. Their attacking flair and flamboyancy will provide more opportunities for England, but the pace and movement they have also means they going to have a much tougher time defensively.

Everybody is talking about Neymar, will he end up at Real Madrid? That would be amazing, but he's never bored playing football and, in a team which is really fine-tuning for the World Cup, I think he and Gabriel Jesus will be too much to handle.

Charlie predicts: 1-3 and Neymar to score first (30/1 with Sky Bet)

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