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Shay Says - Ep 11: Shay Given Blog With Predictions | LeoVegas

Shay Says - Episode 11

Welcome to Shay Says, the latest football betting blog from LeoVegas’ Irish ambassador, Shay Given.

This week, the Republic of Ireland and Premier League legend previews three fixtures from the March international break, including France’s visit to Dublin on Monday.

Let’s see what Shay Says!

France v Holland

This is a good game for Ireland and the management to analyse how France play – there may be a few changes since the World Cup final and a couple of tweaks in the system.

The Irish staff will try and find any weaknesses this France team has so they can be fully prepared for Monday.

France were quiet in that World Cup final until Kylian Mbappe decided to turn it up a gear – he was sensational to watch.

They’ve got the likes of him, Ousmane Dembélé and Antoine Griezmann – you could be here all day naming their attacking players – plus individuals on the bench that would easily get into any other team. I think France will top the group, so Ireland will likely battle it out with Holland for second place. If you look at the bigger picture, a French victory for this one would therefore be the better result for Ireland.

France will likely be too strong for any team they face and among the favourites for the whole tournament next summer in Germany – that’s how tough of a group Ireland have!

I can see France getting off to a good start here, so I’m going with a 2-0 win for the French, with Antoine Griezmann as an anytime goalscorer.

SHAY SAYS: FRANCE 2-0 HOLLAND

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England v Ukraine

Gareth Southgate has often said he picks players based on form, but there will definitely be some question marks over a few of his selections. Some of them haven’t even started for their clubs and are still getting picked.

Having said that, these players have performed well for Southgate in major tournaments in the past, so he’s clearly a very loyal manager. I think this will be Southgate’s last tournament as England manager, and it looks like he wants to give these players a swansong – they’ve been so close in the previous tournaments, and he’ll be looking to get over that final hurdle next summer.

Italy will be the main side to worry about in these qualifying games, but you’d expect England to try and top the group, especially given their previous qualifying record.

We saw how dangerous Ukraine can be against Scotland in the World Cup play-offs, but I’m going to go with 3-0 to England. They’ll be too strong for Ukraine on the day.

Harry Kane is chasing all sorts of records, and I’m backing him to get on the scoresheet for this one too.

SHAY SAYS: ENGLAND 3-0 UKRAINE

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Ireland v France

You couldn’t ask for a tougher draw. You saw what France did in the World Cup, so every Irish player and manager needs to be on the top of their game to get a result, even if it’s just a draw.

These players would have watched that game in Paris when Thierry Henry scored the handball and thought ‘how can that be allowed?’, it was such a travesty and it shouldn’t have been allowed – VAR these days would have clearly ruled it out for a handball.

I don’t think revenge is the right word, but they should use it as motivation and focus on what they need to do on Monday night.

It’s a huge task for Ireland, but I’ve always said in the past when Ireland have had big games and started as the underdog, they’ve had some historic and big results.

For me, Evan Ferguson has to start this one. He’s scoring for Brighton, he scored his first senior goal in his first start for Ireland against Latvia on Tuesday and is playing really well, and this Irish side don’t have many Premier League players in the squad.

I’m going to go for a 1-1 draw, with Kylian Mbappe to score anytime. France are the big favourites, but I’m hoping we can be solid enough to get a result.

SHAY SAYS: IRELAND 1-1 FRANCE

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*all odds correct at time of writing and subject to change