Having played against the Republic of Ireland three times, Stuart Pearce knows what to expect on Tuesday.
Republic of Ireland v England
2009 UEFA European Under-21 Championship Qualifier
8pm, Tuesday 16 October 2007
Turner's Cross, Cork
Stuart Pearce is hoping to finally get one over the Republic of Ireland when his Under-21s kick off in Cork on Tuesday night.
The Head Coach failed to beat the Republic as a player - all three games he took part in ended in a 1-1 draw - and the former Nottingham Forest left back insists his charges are in for a stern examination.
"You know whenever you take an Irish team on they will be full of pride and passion, especially against England," said Pearce, who won 78 caps for his country.
"They are a good side – fully committed, work very hard for each other. Anyone who comes here knows they are in for a tough game."
Pearce has first hand experience of what Tuesday evening's opponents bring to the table.
His first meeting with the Republic of Ireland came in World Cup 90 when Gary Lineker's ninth minute goal was cancelled out by Kevin Sheedy.
The two teams then collided in November that same year in a European Qualifier in Dublin. As happened in all three games, England went ahead, this time through David Platt only for Tony Cascarino to grab a share of the spoils.
England could not make home advantage count in March 1991, despite Lee Dixon handing the hosts a tenth minute lead. It was left to Niall Quinn to frustrate the Wembley crowd on 28 minutes.
"I have been in a qualifying group with the Republic," recalled Pearce. "You know full well there will not be a quarter given by either side. They are a very proud nation, very committed, and that will be evident on Tuesday night.
"We knew as soon as the groups were picked and we had the Republic in our group, from my experience you are in for two tough matches. There is a lot of pride and a lot of passion between the two countries and it manifests itself on a sporting field, that’s the way it should be. I think it will be a great game."
England and the Republic are at opposite ends of the Group 3 Qualifying table - The Three Lions have won all three games, Ireland lost their only match against Portugal - but Pearce is not fooled.
"I think they play a lot of good football," he said. "They play out from the back very well. They have talent in their side. Most of their boys are connected with Premiership or Championship clubs, the same as my Under-21 squad are. It will be a tough game for us. I'm sure it will be a full house, the atmosphere will be fantastic. It will be a really good Under-21 fixture."
The England players trained on Monday and Tuesday at the quaint Knockgriffin Park, home of Midleton FC in east Cork.
Theo Walcott missed the first session, the victim of some nasty challenges on Friday night against Montenegro, but after some running under the watchful eye of the medical staff took part in the drizzle on Tuesday.
However, the Arsenal forward remains England's only doubt.
"He sat out training yesterday and joined in late on today," said Pearce. "We will have to look at him again with the physios so we will see how he comes through. He has a 50-50 chance. He's desperate to play, that's pleasing for me. They know there is competition for places so I don't think anyone wants to miss out."
TheFA.com spoke exclusively with Michael Kightly just hours after landing in Ireland. Click here to read the interview.