This Thursday evening sees the ‘Battle of Britain’ – football style – as England face off with Wales in an international friendly at Wembley.
Given the non-competitive nature of the match and the fact that both sides have UEFA Nations League matches coming up, it’s likely that both Gareth Southgate and Ryan Giggs may name experimental sides.
However, with plenty of pride and bragging rights on the line, we can expect a full-blooded game akin to a local derby in club football.
England vs Wales Head-to-Head
The last time England and Wales faced off was in a famous group stage encounter at Euro 2016. That game saw Wales take the lead through a Gareth Bale free-kick, only for Jamie Vardy to equalise before a last-gasp goal from Daniel Sturridge won the day for England.
However, Wales would have the last laugh – they made the semi-finals of the tournament while England were unceremoniously dumped out by Iceland in the round of 16.
England’s recent results have been strong enough – they scored 37 goals in qualifying for Euro 2020 – but fans were largely disappointed by their recent UEFA Nations League games with Iceland and Denmark despite Southgate’s side losing neither match.
Wales, meanwhile, are unbeaten in their last eight matches. Most recently, they defeated Finland and Bulgaria in UEFA Nations League games.
England form guide: W-W-W-W-D
Wales form guide: D-W-W-W-W
England vs Wales Team News
Gareth Southgate has been able to name a full-strength England squad for the most part, but the Three Lions boss still has a handful of issues. Raheem Sterling has been forced out with an injury, while Tammy Abraham, Ben Chilwell and Jadon Sancho are all likely to miss this match due to their involvement in an illegal gathering at the weekend.
Injured: Raheem Sterling
Unavailable: Tammy Abraham, Ben Chilwell, Jadon Sancho
Ryan Giggs will be without two of his most experienced and talented players for this game, as Gareth Bale is injured, while Aaron Ramsey has been forced to self-isolate due to staff at Juventus testing positive for Covid-19. Striker Hal Robson-Kanu has also withdrawn due to a wrist injury.
Injured: Gareth Bale, Hal Robson-Kanu
Unavailable: Aaron Ramsey
England vs Wales Predicted XI
England predicted XI (4-3-3): Nick Pope, Reece James, Eric Dier, Tyrone Mings, Bukayo Saka, Kalvin Phillips, Harry Winks, Mason Mount, Marcus Rashford, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Jack Grealish
Wales predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Wayne Hennessey, Connor Roberts, Joe Rodon, Ethan Ampadu, Ben Davies, Dylan Levitt, Harry Wilson, David Brooks, Jonny Williams, Daniel James, Kieffer Moore
England vs Wales Prediction
As a Home Nations match, both sides are likely to take this game extremely seriously, even if both use it to experiment with younger players before their UEFA Nations League games.
With that in mind, even an experimental England side should have enough to handle Ryan Giggs’ team handily. Newer players such as Jack Grealish and Dominic Calvert-Lewin have been in fantastic form at club level and will be desperate to translate that onto the international stage.
The most likely outcome here appears to be a home win in an exciting game.
Prediction: England 4-2 WalesPublished 06 Oct 2020, 15:54 IST