England are desperate to bounce back with a win they take on Wales in the UEFA Euro 2016 Group B clash on Thursday evening at the Stade Bollaert-Delelis in Lens.
England were denied in the dying seconds by a Russian side, who were largely anonymous throughout the match. Eric Dier fired the Three Lions to a 1-0 lead from free kick in the 73rd minute, only to be denied by a Vasili Berezutski header deep into the added injury time. There are plenty of loops for Roy Hodgson to close ahead of this vital clash against Wales, their poor finishing and the inability to deal with set pieced.
On the other hand, Wales celebrated their return to a major international tournament with a 2-1 win over a strong Slovakia. But they needed an error from Slovak goal keeper Matus Kozacik, who failed to deal with a Gareth Bale free kick and a miscued shot from second half substitute Hal Robson-Kanu to seal the victory. Their team spirit and work rate has to be particularly appreciated, but they must tighten things in defense when coming up against a better side like England.
England Team News
Despite England’s woes in front of goal, Roy Hodgson is unlikely to change the starting eleven. But Rooney could be deployed in a more advanced role to support Harry Kane, who was rather isolated in the 1-1 draw against Russia.
Ryan Bertrand is the only player unavailable as he is recovering from a knock suffered in training prior to the last warm-up match against Portugal.
England Predicted Line-up (4-3-3)
Hart – Rose, Smalling, Cahill, Walker – Dier, Alli, Rooney – Sterling, Lallana, Kane.
Wales Team News
Chris Coleman is waiting on the fitness of his number one goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey and if he deemed to be unfit Danny Ward is expected to continue in goal. No other changes are expected to the squad that performed admirably in the opening fixture. However Robson-Kanu, is pushing for a start at the expense of Jonathan Williams after scoring the winner coming off the bench,
Wales: Predicted Line-up (3-4-3)
Hennessey – Davies, A.Williams, Chester – Taylor, Allen, Edwards, Gunter – Ramsey, Bale, J.Williams.
England vs Wales: Head-to-Head Stats
The two teams had met on 103 previous occasions so far, with, England winning 68 of them as against Wales’ 14 wins, while 21 matches were draws.
The last Wales victory over England was in 1984 by a 1-0 margin. Since then, England had won in four meetings by keeping clean sheets, the latest of which was on September 2011.
England vs Wales: Prediction
England will be eager to bounce back with a win to stay in the race for qualification, while Wales will take a draw from this fixture. The quality between the sides is a big mismatch considering the superior players England have at their disposal. Despite their troubles in front of goal against Russia, the Three Lions are expected to lift their game up in this must win tie.
Before the win against Slovakia, Wales were without a win in the previous 4, with 3 of those being defeats. The have also conceded in each of their last 5 and they are more likely to concede a couple here. While England are also not effective in shutting out their opponents, as they have conceded in 5 of their last 6. So there is a higher probability to see goals at both ends.
I expect England to produce an improved performance, especially in front of goal and emerge as eventual winners by 3-1 to extend their winning run against Wales to 5 in a row.
- England to win at HT (2.20)
- Both Teams to Score (2.00)
- First Half – Over 0.5 goals (1.40).