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Euro 2016: England vs Wales – 5 players to look out for

gareth bale
Bale scored against Slovakia with a direct free-kick
Modified 16 Jun 2016, 12:13 IST
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england football

The perennial favorites against permanent underdogs, 50 years of heartbreak against 58 years in oblivion, glamor against grit; label the match as you may, but one cannot argue that the Group B clash between England and Wales in the Euro 2016 promises to be a tasty encounter.

The two neighbors last met during the Euro 2012 qualifiers with both fixtures being dominated and won by the English, 2-0 and 1-0 away and home respectively. However coming into this match, both sides come with contrasting feelings.

Riding on a high after their win against Slovakia, Wales would be looking to improve their stronghold over the group with a win. England, on the other hand, would be reeling after conceding a stoppage time equalizer against Russia in their opening game and would look to lift themselves for this match.

Both sides will require their top stars to bring out their A-game tonight in pursuit of three points. Here’s a look at some of the players who can make a difference:

Gareth Bale

We'll start off with the most obvious one; Gareth Bale. The natural heir to Ryan Giggs in the Welsh side, Bale has been in hot form for club and country over the last couple of years. Pace, skill, technique, a mean free-kick and a propensity to come up with the goods in big games, Bale has it all.

In the previous game, Wales played with Bale operating centrally, swapping positions with Jonny Williams and Aaron Ramsey who played as wide midfielders. In all probability though, Robson-Kanu would start tonight’s match up front for the Red Dragons which would mean Bale dropping into a more familiar no. 10 role.

Whatever position he plays, the English centre-halves Chris Smalling and Gary Cahill will definitely have their work cut out if they are to prevent Bale from running riot. Bale opened the scoring for Wales against Slovakia with a free-kick and will be hoping to add to his tally today with another goal which can propel his team to the first knockout stage.

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Published 16 Jun 2016, 12:00 IST
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