After a blistering start to their campaign (a 6-2 victory over Iran), England looked lacklustre in their performance against the USA, a 0-0 draw seemed the right result on the day. That still leaves the Three Lions in pole position in the group, and another draw here would more than likely see them through, though they’ll want to finish top of their group and avoid what, at the time of writing, looks to be a potential clash with the Netherlands.
It's very much out of Wales’ hands and they need an emphatic victory here to stand a chance of qualification. While they’ll point to a red card as the reason for their defeat to Iran, ultimately they didn’t do enough to win the game even with a full side. They’ll be determined to get one over their rivals here, though they’re winless in their seven games since they beat Ukraine to qualify, losing five, and will be hard pressed to get a result here.
There were calls to use Phil Foden when pushing for a winner against the USA last time out, but England boss Gareth Southgate stuck with Mason Mount in the 10 role, despite the Chelsea man not having as dominant a display as he did against Iran. It’s unclear what Southgate will do here, after a number of below par performances from his side, and we may see some fresh faces for this monster clash.
England To Win And Under 3.5 Goals
Wayne Hennessy will be on the suspension list, which gives an opportunity to Danny Ward after an improved spell at Leicester, though conceding twice after coming on in the 87th minute won’t have done him much good, and England will look to get some shots off.
While much is said about this being akin to a domestic derby clash, and therefore being a tough test for this England side, they’ve managed to overcome that in all six clashes with Wales so far this century. Five of those wins also came to nil, with the only exception coming at the 2016 Euro’s group stage.
England have great major tournament experience under Southgate now, and will know exactly what is required of them after a timid display last time out, though we don’t see them running away with this and we’ll back a relatively low scoring victory to go with a composed performance.
ENGLAND TO WIN AND UNDER 3.5 GOALS
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