England vs Wales has been one of the most anticipated fixtures of Euro 2016. Whilst history shows the victory should be an easy one for Roy Hodgson’s men, Wales form and passion could see them beat their nearest rivals.
Euro 2016: England vs Wales – Almost time
After one match of the tournament, not many would have thought Wales would sit two points above England, but a late Hal Robson-Kanu winner for Wales against Slovakia – which gave Wales their first ever major tournament win – countered by a last-second equaliser from Russia’s Vasili Berezutski leaves Wales in a strong position and most Welsh fans in dreamland. The tournament thus far has been a heavenly experience for Wales, whilst England fans have had a darker experience.
Wales fans have been applauded for their respectable, friendly behaviour in France with social media showing videos of Welsh fans being joined by French locals in singing the Welsh national anthem in their thousands. England fans, on the other hand, have already been warned by the English FA as well as manager Roy Hodgson and captain Wayne Rooney to behave once UEFA confirmed it could expel both Russia and England if there are any more violent scenes from either set of fans.
With Wales as a country receiving high praise off the pitch and English fans not, there could be heated scenes in Lens between supporters. However, there has been a ban on alcohol around the ground to avoid fuelling any aggressive behaviour.
Chris Coleman told the BBC, “It’s difficult to say to the Welsh public don’t come and sample the atmosphere,” he added. “It’s the Euros – they have been waiting for a major tournament for goodness knows how long.
“They deserve to enjoy this experience as much as anybody else.”
Wales should have goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey back in the starting line-up after he missed the opening tournament match versus Slovakia with a back spasm. It’s unlikely that manager Chris Coleman will make any further changes to the team that has pushed Wales to the top of Group B.
Hennessey told the BBC: “It is one of those things where you go from broke to mended in about 24 hours,” the goalkeeper said.
“I had one and missed the Liverpool game at home for Crystal Palace,” he said.
“So I’ll have an injection now and I will probably be back in 24 hours, which sounds crazy.
“It was an unsettling time for myself, but our motto is ‘Together Stronger‘ and it is all about the boys.”
England supporters meanwhile, have urged Hodgson to start Jamie Vardy after the Leicester star was left on the bench without making an appearance. Questions of Hodgson’s selection of Raheem Sterling – who has had an average season at Manchester City – ahead of Vardy has left fans disappointed.
Wales take on England on Thursday 16th June – KO: 14:00 at the Stade Felix Bollaert-Delelis in Lens
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