England are looking to get their first win at Euro 2016 this afternoon when they face local neighbours Wales at the Stade Bollaert-Delelis in Lens.
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Roy Hodgson’s side were underwhelming in their opening game, drawing 1-1 with Russia in which they created few good opportunities against one of the tournament’s weakest sides.
Meanwhile, Wales made their European Championship debut with a 2-1 win over Slovakia and head into their second game this afternoon top of the group after Slovakia beat Russia 2-1 yesterday. Victory for Chris Coleman’s side against England would see them progress to the second round as group winners whilst a draw would keep them top heading into their final game with Russia.
England are under pressure to collect three points otherwise they go into their final game needing to beat Slovakia to progress and with the chance of winning the group out of their control.
The manager himself is under pressure. Will he start Raheem Sterling again after heavy criticism for his woeful performance on Saturday. Will Harry Kane take corners again? The Tottenham striker took six versus Russia to no effect, having only taken seven throughout the whole of the 2015-16 Premier League, and left fans confused and furious as to why the Premier League Golden Boot winner was taking them in the first place.
We expect Sterling to be dropped from the starting lineup this afternoon with Jamie Vardy potentially coming in to play a 4-2-3-1 or 4-4-2 formation. Ross Barkley is another option on the left. It is believed that Daniel Sturridge has also been considered to start whilst Harry Kane is not guaranteed to be in the XI after looking very tired in the first game. Vardy is 9/5 to score anytime with William Hill.
Adam Lallana was wasteful in the first half hour on Saturday before going quite for the remainder of the game. James Milner and Daniel Sturridge are options to replace him on the right.
Don’t expect any changes in the England defence. Roy Hodgson has no injuries to deal with among the squad and Gary Cahill is the only player heading into this game on a yellow card.
Wales were missing their first-choice goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey with a minor back injury for their opening game and is available to Chris Coleman this afternoon. This means the Welsh also have a full team to pick from.
With a draw being a fine result for Wales they can afford to play their defensive counter-attacking style, sticking to the 3-5-1-1 formation with wingbacks that worked to success on Saturday. Wales can look to exploit space down the wings left back by the aggressive Danny Rose and Kyle Walker. Rose in particular was beaten on a couple of occasions by the Russians down the England left.
Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey will be the main threat to England’s defeat. Bale has a free role in this side and is capable of dropping into space down either wings. He enjoys running the defences, has a good long range shot on him and is a threat from set pieces. He hit the target with all five of his attempts versus Slovakia. The Real Madrid superstar is 2/1 to score anytime with William Hill.
Aaron Ramsey is a threat with his deep runs from midfield. Either Eric Dier or Wayne Rooney will likely be given the job if picking up the Arsenal midfielder.
William Hill are giving an enticing 11/4 on this match ending in a draw.