England are all geared up to lock horns against Wales in Euro 2016 Group B clash at the Stade Felix Bollaert-Delelis in Lens on Thursday.
England vs Wales has been the most talked about match in the build-up to the UEFA Euro 2016 Championship as both the teams share one of the oldest rivalries in European football.
The focal point of all the hype and discussion has been about England’s prospects in the International circuit and Wales’ historic achievement in qualifying for an International tournament for the first time in 58 years.
Both the teams share a 137-year old rivalry and the first official match was played way back in 1879 in which England outclassed Wales 2-1.
Since then both the teams have met 101 times with England winning 66 to Wales’ 14 and 21 matches ended in a draw.
England have history on their side and they won 1-0 in their most recent encounter with Wales, all thanks to Ashley Young’s incredible performance.
England’s last defeat against Wales was way back in the year 1984 in which a sensational goal from Mark Hughes on his international debut sealed Wales’ victory.
What Is At Stake?
Wales had a flying start to their campaign with a 2-1 victory against and are currently at the top of Group B. England are at the second spot with one point from their 1-1 draw against Russia in their opening fixture.
A win or a draw for Wales in Thursday’s clash against England will seal their place in the round of 16. England will be desperate to clinch their first Euro 2016 victory in Thursday’s clash against their 137-year old rival to keep the hopes alive for qualifying into the knock-out stage.
The build-up to the game has been all the more exciting with the players taking a dig at their opponents. Gaerth Bale asserted that no player in the England squad is good enough to deserve a place in the Wales’ starting XI. Jack Wilshire came up with a response and said that the dislike is mutual.
What The Managers Said
As England manager, I’m obviously very concerned about the threat which is now hanging over us and the sanctions that could possibly be imposed on the England team. .We worked very hard to get here and we really desperately want to stay in the competition and I’m appealing to all of our fans, we appreciate your support in matches of course, but I’m appealing for you to stay out of trouble and try and make certain these threats being issued are never carried out,” said England manager Roy Hodgson when asked about the recent fans clash.
“We don’t need to fear anybody. If we are ourselves it can be enough to get what we want. There’s nothing to be afraid of. Sometimes you are afraid of the unknown, but we just have to go about our business,” said Wales manager Chris Coleman.
BALE vs CAHILL & SMALLING
Real Madrid star Gareth scored a spectacular goal from a free-kick bale and he played a pivotal role in their victory against Slovakia and is expected to be the key threat to England’s vulnerable defense. However Hodgson have full faith upon his centre-backs Gary Cahill and Chris Smalling. The battle between Bale-Cahill and Smalling would be exciting to watch. If they can stop Bale, they win half the battle.
HARRY KANE vs ASHLEY WILLIAMS
Harry Kane had chances of increasing the lead after half-time in Saturday’s match against Russia but he lacked the finishing touch on the final ball. However the Spurs forward has enough potential to dismantle the opposition defence single-handedly. Wales are well aware of the threat and would look to block his options. If the Red Dragons can block his movements and deny him a chance then they have a real opportunity to tame the rest of the English side. Spurs defender Ashley Williams has been successful in mapping Kane’s movement in the last Premier League season as he made it impossible for Kane to score past him in matches against Swansea.
Possible XI: Hart, Walker, Cahill, Smalling, Rose; Alli, Dier, Rooney; Sterling, Kane, Lallana.
Possible XI: Ward; Gunter, Chester, A Williams, Davies, Taylor; Edwards, Allen, Ramsey, Williams; Bale.