Marcus Braddock previews the big Euros game
After Saturdays exciting but disappointing result, England take on group leaders Wales with both teams wanting a win to pretty much guarantee qualification to the next round. It's not our last opportunity, we also have Slovakia to play but a decent result for either team would settle the nerves of their fans.
In their first game of the competition against Slovakia, the Welsh looked a bright team going forward but maybe a little less impressive defensively. In contrast, England found it difficult in the opposition half but seemed relatively well organized defensively until they switched off two minutes too early, losing two important points in the process.
For Shrewsbury Town fans, we have the prospect of seeing two of our home-grown players in opposition with Joe Hart and David Edwards playing for England and Wales respectively (as if you didn't know already!). Edwards took studs to his knee on Saturday but has since recovered after time in a cryo-chamber and is likely to be available for selection.
Head to Head
England and Wales have a rather long history of games between them with the first recorded game taking place in January 1879, over a decade before our football league was established in 1888. England won that first game and have won 66 of the 101 between the two nations. Wales have won 14 times with their last victory coming in May 1984 with a 1-0 victory.
My prediction for the Russia game proved to be very wrong, maybe a 3-1 win for England was a little optimistic in hindsight. After our performance in the first game, much of my positive anticipation has been pushed out of the way by anxiety. I thought Wales looked much better against Slovakia than we did against Russia, many were happy with our attacking display but I felt that Harry Kane looked a little jaded and possibly out of his depth. I was also unimpressed with Raheem Sterling and Adam Lallana seemed to waste every chance put before them. It looks as if Roy Hodgson will stick with the team that faced Russia, and whilst I I would change things, I do understand the value of showing a little faith in your players. England can get away with a draw in this game and I think a draw would suit Wales well enough too.
England 1-1 Wales