Here it comes then, the big home nation clash that fans have been waiting for ever since the draw for Euro 2016 was made. It is England v Wales and for the English, they have heaped a load more pressure on themselves for this game after failing to have won their opening fixture of Group B. Wales meanwhile were celebrating a huge three points that they earned after downing Slovakia and that could make this a much tougher game for England.
Wales would probably be happy enough with a point out of this then, having three in the bag. It is a whole different scenario than if England had taken maximum points against Russia and Wales had failed to do so against Slovakia. So England have to come out and push hard for the win after being denied at the death in their opener against Russia. England were in control for most of the game against the Russians, but didn’t take enough of their chances and paid the price.
The biggest concern over England going into the tournament was their defence and that failed them right at the death in a 1-1 draw. So a hammer blow, not only in terms of points but in confidence as well. Will that have damaged their confidence or will it have spurred them on and shaken out any complacency that they may have had after having gone to France 2016 so heavily hyped and heavily backed in the outright winner market?
England are strong 4/7 favourites to win the game against Wales still and if you look back at history, that suggests the Three Lions will edge the victory. England are on a seven match winning streak against Wales and have conceded just the one goal in that sequence of games. So an England to win to nil wager will return you a price of 5/4 on the match betting. It will be tempting to some punters with the odds-on price on England, while the Welsh are a big 6/1 price to take the win.
Wales may set their stall out to defy the English and settle for the point and that will make them dangerous. As they showed in their opener, they can work hard and dig in there and they can play with endeavour. The hard work and spirit that they put may even outshine that work ethic of England when it boils down to it, but would it be enough for Wales to stretch out and win the game? That’s a whole different ballpark as naturally they are big underdogs in this one.
England’s forwards didn’t quite click against Russia, with Harry Kane disappointing, but he is even money in the anytime goalscorer market, with Daniel Sturridge, Jamie Vardy, Wayne Rooney, Dele Alli and Marcus Rashford around the 2/1 mark to net. That’s where Gareth Bale is at in the market to score for Wales and he is already off the mark with his free kick against Slovakia to open the scoring in that game.
Wales had patches where they were on the back foot against Slovakia, who had pace in them. That may be a snapshot of what they can face when they take on England, who played a positive game but the quality and ruthlessness at the end of the day was lacking for the Three Lions. Roy Hodgson’s men need to prove themselves in this big home nations derby now. Under 2.5 goals at a quote of 3/4 suggests that this is going to be tight and with six of the last seven meetings having produced two goals or less, this is likely going to be another tight duel between these two.
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