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Autumn Internationals: England can hold off challenge of Wallabies

England were far from at their best against Argentina
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Simon Mail previews England's latest Autumn international and thinks the hosts will come out on top against Australia at Twickenham...

"England have enjoyed the upper hand against Australia recently with wins in all four games under Eddie Jones over the last two seasons. This includes a 3-0 series triumph away to the Wallabies last year so England appear to have a psychological edge over their rivals."

England v Australia
Saturday, 15:00
Live on Sky Sports Action

England face their toughest Autumn international match this weekend with a home game against Australia at Twickenham. Eddie Jones will know only too well his side need to improve significantly from their unconvincing performance during the 21-8 win over Argentina in last week's opener. There was plenty of rust in the display and a lack of precision from the hosts but any repeat against the Wallabies will be exposed.

England were missing several influential players against the Pumas, such as Owen Farrell and Maro Itoje, but Jones could not hide his frustration after a disappointing display. There was a lack of fluency throughout the back-line and it was a stodgy showing which failed to excite the home crowd. But as Jones said afterwards England found a way to win, without playing well, which leaves his record in charge at an exceptional 20 victories from 21 Tests.

Farrell returns to the side as one of four changes for this weekend's game. The Saracens back comes in at centre in place of Henry Slade while Anthony Watson switches to full-back with Mike Brown out due to concussion. Jonny May has recovered from a hamstring injury to start on the wing and will be hoping to take his superb club form, after scoring seven tries in as many Premiership games for Leicester, into this international game. Joe Launchbury starts in the second row with George Kruis dropped.

Australia come into this match in strong shape after starting their tour with the customary win over Wales. The Wallabies were tested by Warren Gatland's side in the second half but four tries helped fire them to a 29-21 victory in Cardiff. Head coach Michael Cheika was encouraged by his side's defence although he was concerned with their discipline after conceding 15 penalties.

Cheika's side should be heading into this clash full of belief and confidence after a recent run which includes a 23-18 home win over world champions New Zealand last month. After an inconsistent run of form, Australia are looking dangerous again and will know the significance of gaining a win over the second ranked team in the world especially in front of their own fans.

England have enjoyed the upper hand against Australia recently with wins in all four games under Jones over the last two seasons. This includes a 3-0 series triumph away to the Wallabies last year so England appear to have a psychological edge over their rivals. The most recent clash came 12 months ago when England comfortably won 37-21 which was the first meeting at Twickenham since Australia's 33-13 victory in the World Cup in 2015.

There is no doubt the Wallabies present a stern test for England with the visitors naming an unchanged side following the win in Wales. But whereas the Welsh have been unable to find a way to beat them England have had no problem recently and their winning mentality under Jones can ensure they get the job done. Granted, the hosts will have to play significantly better than last week but the extra game time and notable team changes should ensure an improved display.

Australia are coming into this game in impressive form and this will tempt some to back them. The handicap bet, handing them eight points is worth considering, but backing England to win by up to 12 points could prove the best option.

It would be a surprise if England won as comfortably as last season, with the Wallabies in much better shape, but the hosts have the squad depth and ability to hold off their opponents and claim a narrow win.

Recommended Bet
Back England to win by 1-12 points at [2.56]


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