Euro 2016 betting preview: England in need of victory against group topping WalesPublished June 14, 2016
This game will almost resemble an English league derby. Two nations connected by land and language and two teams filled with players who play together or face each other on a regular basis.
To add spice to the fixture, or perhaps to inspire his team mates, Real Madrid star Gareth Bale said when the groups were decided that England lack pride and passion, and that they “big themselves up before they’ve done anything”. He also described Hodgson’s team as “the enemy.”
England Manager Roy Hodgson called the remarks “disrespectful”, but what will probably sting further is the fact that after the first match results, the Three Lions are looking up at the Welsh in the group table.
Substitute Hal Robson-Kanu applied the finishing touch after an Aaron Ramsey assist to give Wales victory against Slovakia on their UEFA EURO finals debut last week, after Gareth Bale’s early strike had been cancelled out by Ondrej Duda’s finish just after the hour mark.
This has left Wales on top of the group with three points because the other game, between England and Russia, ended in a draw. A last minute equaliser by Vasili Berezutski’s in stoppage-time gave Russia a draw they barely deserved in the Stade Velodrome.
Roy Hodgson’s side were dominant, especially in the first half, and fully merited the lead given to them when Eric Dier crashed a 20-yard free-kick high past keeper Igor Akinfeev with 17 minutes left. However, England will certainly rue some poor finishing and slack defending that allowed the Russians to come away with a point.
The result meant that England has never won its first game in a European Championships, and the game is most remembered for the violent scenes which erupted soon after the final whistle.
England certainly have a good record against the Welsh, winning 66 games, drawing 21 and only losing 14 times. In fact, Wales have to go back to 1984 for their last win over their neighbours which took place in the now defunct annual British Championships.
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