England vs Wales preview

Friday’s 0-0 draw with the USA dampened the mood following England’s excellent start to the World Cup but heading into the final group stage game, it is all up for grabs as all of the teams in the group can still qualify for the round of 16.

The overview

The Three Lions were dominated by the USA on Friday night and they managed to hold on for a draw. A win at the Al Bayt Stadium would have guaranteed a spot in the knockout stages for Gareth Southgate’s side but it means that it goes down to the final group game against the Welsh. Will England still make it through to the knockout stages?

The opposition

After a draw against the USA in their opening game, Wales were unable to pick up their first three points of the tournament due to Iran scoring two goals in the 98th and 101th minute to take the win. Rob Page has been at the helm since 2020 following Ryan Giggs’ departure after previously being manager of the U21’s side. There will be some familiar faces with a lot of the Welsh players representing clubs in England but they will be desperate to secure a place in the knockout stages.

Ones to watch

The Welsh are a threat on the attack and Gareth Bale and Kieffer Moore will be key if they are to get anything out of this game. The latter has had a good season with Bournemouth so far while Bale is five months into his spell at LAFC. They also have other exciting attacking options in the form of Brennan Johnson of Nottingham Forest and Fulham’s Dan James.

Team news

James Maddison has returned to training after a spell on the sidelines and Kyle Walker could return to action. Harry Kane looks like he will still be involved in the crucial clash despite having a slight ankle problem.

The stats

Wales have not won in seven international games and this will be the first meeting between the two sides in a World Cup. One of the most memorable recent games between these two was in Euro 2016 when Daniel Sturridge secured a last-gasp victory. England have won their last six outings against the Welsh and they will be looking to make that seven in this hotly-anticipated encounter.

Predicted line-ups

England: Pickford, Trippier, Stones, Maguire, Shaw, Rice, Bellingham, Foden, Rashford, Kane, Saka

Wales: Ward, Mepham, Rodon, Davies, Roberts, Allen, Ampadu, Wilson, Williams, Bale, Moore

Match information

Kick off: 19:00 GMT

Stadium: Ahmed bin Ali Stadium

How to watch: BBC One (Coverage starting at 18:00)


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