Favourites England to power past Wallabies
Eddie Jones’ team to overturn eight-point gap on handicap looks attractive proposition
There is no better way to start the quarterfinals of the Rugby World Cup than with England taking on Australia in Oita. It is no surprise that England are strong 1-3 favourites and, given the way the teams have negotiated their way to the knockout stages, there must be supreme confidence that England can progress.
They have won their past six matches against Australia, who struggled in the pool stages and whose head coach, Michael Cheika, was seemingly unsure of his best team. Cheika’s tactical tinkering rarely goes on during a World Cup and Australia are taking on a virtually full-strength England squad, who have had two weeks to prepare after their final pool match was cancelled when Typhoon Hagibis struck Japan.
England’s powerful runners should have the edge and England could even be value at 10/11 to overcome an eight-point deficit on the handicap. In the other quarterfinals, Ireland are an attractive price at 4/1 to overcome favourites New Zealand. Few nations will strike more fear into the All Blacks than the Irish, who are one of just two teams to have defeated them in the past 12 months. It is worth forgiving Ireland’s loss to Japan as they were without 2018 World Rugby player of the year Johnny Sexton. Ireland never look the Liverpool to be winning at half- time and full-time England -8 to beat Australia Ireland to beat New Zealand South Africa -15 to beat Japan Trafford as Liverpool’s odds at kick-off are going to be the shortest on them to win away against Manchester United in the Premier League era.
Jurgen Klopp’s side are odds-on for the first time and their price of 7/10 to come away with a victory is hard to argue against given the respective directions the teams seem to be heading in this season.
United look to be facing an uphill battle to finish in the top half of the Premier League and head coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is priced at just 1/6 to leave his position before the end of the season (Mauricio Pochettino is 9/4 favourite to be the next United manager). With David de Gea the latest United player to be ruled out of the game this weekend after suffering an injury while on international duty with Spain and Paul Pogba also set to miss out on tomorrow’s big match, it is difficult to imagine a scenario in which United will prevail given their lack of experience and continued poor form.
Liverpool have won their past 17 Premier League games and are 8/13 to lift their first title in more than 30 years. Their march to glory looks sure to continue at Old Trafford. For anybody thinking that 7/10 is too short to take, the 7/4 about Liverpool winning at half-time and full-time should be considered.
Great record: Manu Tuilagi bursts forward during England’s win against Australia at Twickenham last year – one of six successive victories over the Wallabies