PARIS,June16: England’s opening days of UEFA Euro 2016 have been tarred with violence, so the 1-1 draw against Russia was least noticeable. But today when they meet neighbor Wales at 38,000 seater stadium Stade Bollaert Delelis in Lens, they will be watched and noticed by whole world, as this is most exciting fixture given their traditional rivalry.
Win against Roy Hodgson's side will take Gareth Bale and co to the next round, while three points is most for English as they have collected just one point in this tournament. It will be perfect chance for Wales to show the world that there is life in British football beyond the Enland. Wales currently leads the group B on a goal difference, but Slovakia's win over Russia have increased pressure on Chris Coleman, as another win is needed to make next round as group topper.
Head coach Roy Hodgson, likely opt same team and formation against Wales, which he used in last match. Captain Rooney set to continue in playmaking role, Spurs duo Alli and Dier from deep midfield to support him. Hodgson likely to pick Harry Kane despite the suggestions he received to start Liverpool's star striker Daniel Sturridge. No injury concern for 68 year old boss ahead of such crucial encounter.
Likely playing XI:
Hart; Walker, Smalling, Cahill, Rose; Alli, Dier, Rooney; Lallana, Kane, Sterling
Chris Coleman’s men will go into the game in Lens in confident mood, as his side has started the tournament so brightly. Robson Kanu who made an impact off the bench, scoring Wales’ winner to give the Dragons their first tournament victory in 58 years, likely to be picked as starting forward. No injury concern, as first choice goalkeeper Hennessey is back from injury and available for selection.
Likely playing XI:
Hennessey ; Gunter, Chester, Williams, Davies, Taylor; Allen, Ledley; Ramsey, Bale; Robson-Kanu
Roy Hodgson, England
The derby atmosphere is great. Many people in England and Great Britain – perhaps even around the world – are looking forward to this game; the fact it is a game against brothers, if you like, adds spice, it adds interest and that is something I can only welcome. If anything it heightens the occasion rather than lessens it.
Chris Coleman, Wales
We've got to care of ourselves and not worry about the opposition, whoever they are. I'm more concerned with my lot than England. We can only concentrate on ourselves. I'm not disrespecting England by saying it's just another game. We have to make sure the occasion doesn't get the better of us, I will be making sure my players remain calm and focused. There's a lot more pressure and expectancy on England, but our pressure comes from within the group.
Head to head
-This will be the 102nd time that England and Wales have played each other, although this is the first time they have met in the finals of a major tournament.
-England have won 66 matches, Wales 14 and there have been 21 draws.
-Wales have not beaten England since a 1-0 victory in Wrexham on 2 May 1984, when Mark Hughes scored the only goal on his debut.
Some notable facts
-England had not lost over 90 or 120 minutes in 23 European Championship fixtures, going back to a 3-2 defeat by Croatia in November 2007.
-This is only the second time England will face another country from the UK in a major tournament, they won the first 2-0 against Scotland at Euro 1996.
-England have failed to score more than once in 13 of their last 14 matches at major tournaments.
-Wales have conceded in each of their last five games (including friendlies), their worst run of conceding since March 2013 (11).
-Wales are the first British side to win their opening game in a European Championship finals tournament.
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