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England v Republic of Ireland: Three Lions fringe players to star

Lethal Charlie Austin hit 18 goals for QPR this campaign

Austin picks out five fantastic Three Lions squad players who can impress as England take on the Republic of Ireland

There are no ‘just friendlies’ where foes the Republic of Ireland and England are concerned. So, in anticipation of what looks set to be a tasty duel between two old nemeses, highlight five Three Lions fringe players, with several debutantes expected, who could star in the showdown if given the nod.

Charlie Austin
QPR sharpshooter Austin, whose fairytale rise from bricklayer through the football ranks could finally be crowned with a cap, has the opportunity to put himself in the shop window again.

An excellent 18 goals plus a surprising seven assists from this season suggests that this scrappy underdog can take his chances, so back Austin at a generous 23/10 by in the anytime market.

Ryan Bertrand
Neither Leighton Baines or Kieran Gibbs have seized the left back mantle left vacant by Ashley Cole, so Southampton defender Bertrand has the chance to steal a march on his peers if selected. Following a superb season at St Mary’s, the Chelsea academy graduate could put in a sturdy shift for England, who are priced at 11/10 by Coral to defeat the Green Army for the first time since 1985.

Tom Heaton
Hodgson should already know all about Joe Hart and Robert Green, who returns to the Three Lions fold following a season of impressive outings for relegated QPR.

Burnley’s Heaton, however, is an unknown quantity at international level, though he kept the Clarets in many games this campaign, so England could reap the rewards by bestowing a first cap. Either way, the Three Lions are a best price of 6/4 to keep a clean sheet with William Hill.

Andros Townsend
Punters will already be more than aware of what Tottenham winger Townsend can do in an England shirt. The wideman looks a different player when romping down the flanks at Wembley, and justified Hodgson’s faith with recent stunners against Italy and San Marino. Back Townsend at 11/2 with bet365 to be on target again anytime.

Jamie Vardy
Somewhat of a surprise inclusion in the squad, vivacious Vardy’s exuberant outings for Leicester City, including five strikes and 10 assists, helped them save their Premier League status.

Clearly able to step up when it counts, this dark horse is 8/1 with Ladbrokes to have the final say, and could harry a Republic side, perhaps under strength with Scotland and the 2016 Euro qualifiers in mind, into submission. top betting tip: Charlie Austin @ 23/10 with to net anytime

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