Ireland are potentially 180 minutes away from booking their place in the European Championships next summer in Poland and Ukraine. Giovanni Trapattoni takes Ireland off to Tallinn this evening looking to extend their excellent run of results that saw them push Russia all the way in Group B.

The Irish are, quite rightly, still hurting from that controversial night in Paris where Thierry Henry’s handball saw that the side missed out on the 2010 World Cup. These types of games are never easy and Estonia have enough talent in their squad to make life difficult. Estonia will be technically sound and they edged out a talented Serbian outfit to reach the play-offs in any case.

I’ve been seriously impressed with Ireland’s defence of late and much of the credit must go to Trapattoni for getting them so well organised. Until Armenia scored in a 2-1 loss to the Irish they hadn’t conceded for eight internationals – which is no mean feat at this level of the game. At the other end of the pitch the likes of Robbie Keane and co have bags of quality and will look to grab any opportunity that drops their way.

It’ll be tight and cagey for the opening twenty of so and if Ireland can keep it tight, it should open up for them when Estonia push on towards the end of the contest.

Having already qualified for Euro 2012, England will take on Spain at Wembley tonight and things have not begun well for the Three Lions. Fabio Capello will now be at the game after the midweek confusion, but his task ahead has not been made any easier with his selection issues. Wayne Rooney and Steven Gerrard are both missing and John Terry is a doubt – not a good start when you see the talent Spain can call upon.

Vicente Del Bosque’s resources are verging on ridiculous, what other side would be unable to regularly pick David Silva and Cesc Fabregas in their starting XI? The Three Lions have not done well against Spain in recent meetings and in fact they haven’t even scored in their past three matches against them.

Friendlies are always tricky to pick, but we can expect a competitive first half before the managers ring the changes. With home advantage, England are capable of getting a draw, but they might have to do it the hard way by coming back from a goal down.

Betting on BETDAQ – Alan’s Punts:
Estonia v Ireland: back Ireland at 2.38
England v Spain: back England at 3.6

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