Rep Ireland to draw, England and Wales set to struggle, predicts Charlie Nicholas

Generic Charlie Nicholas image 10/08/2016
Image: Charlie Nicholas believes all the home nations are set to struggle

Charlie Nicholas provides us with his predictions for the latest round of international friendlies and World Cup play-offs.

After Northern Ireland's defeat to Switzerland, and Scotland's reverse to Netherlands, Republic of Ireland will be looking to establish a first-leg lead when they come up against Denmark, while England and Wales face tough tests in their friendlies.

Here's what Charlie is predicting for the three fixtures...

Denmark v Republic of Ireland (Saturday from 7pm, Sky Sports Football)

I'm actually quite surprised by Denmark being odds-on for this first leg. I understand them being favourites but I think Republic of Ireland are a pretty good price at bigger than 4/1 here.

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Ireland are going to park the bus, be compact at the back, play Daryl Murphy up front alone and attempt to play of the counter-attack as Denmark get desperate to establish a first-leg lead.

Christian Eriksen is obviously the big threat but, while I can't say I'm his biggest fan, James McClean seems to have carved a role out for himself as their away day hero.

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

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England v Germany (Friday 8pm)

I think England look pretty weak with the injuries and the players Gareth Southgate has called up as a result.

I watched Jack Cork at the weekend and he played pretty well. I was always amazed Southampton sold him and he's very efficient on the ball.

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England boss Gareth Southgate denied there is a club v country row and insisted scans confirmed Tottenham duo Harry Kane and Harry Winks would be unavailable for both friendlies

If I was picking the England team Marcus Rashford would play the number nine role rather than Jamie Vardy, who has been in okay form.

I am going for Germany to win because of the midfield situation, where they should dominate, while Leroy Sane is obviously in blistering form.

Charlie predicts: 1-3 and Sane to score first (80/1 with Sky Bet)

France v Wales (Friday 8pm)

I think this is one game where Chris Coleman has to consider going with a pretty established team just in case France get a bit bold and try to embarrass them.

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Wales players Aaron Ramsey and Chris Gunter went head-to-head in a cooking challenge at the team's training base ahead of their friendly with France

I'd still be looking at France -2 on the handicap. Antoine Griezmann needs goals to build his confidence after struggling for Atletico Madrid, while Alexandre Lacazette and Olivier Giroud both have points to prove.

Charlie predicts: 3-0 and Griezmann to score first (17/1 with Sky Bet)

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