England Face Old Rivals Wales in Friendly

Last updated: October 7, 2020 by Leon Marshal

Game details

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Kick-off: Thursday, 20:00
Venue: Wembley Stadium
Coverage: ITV
Home Form: WDWDW
Away Form: DWWWW
Last Meeting: England 2 – 1 Wales
Competition: International Friendly

England v Wales is one of the oldest fixtures in football, dating back to 1879 and while there have been much more significant games than this one, both managers have a last chance to try out tactics before important Nations League fixtures at the weekend.

England has been rusty form in front of goal, needing a 90th-minute penalty to win in Reykjavik against Iceland with both teams down to ten men. Despite having 13 shots, a conversion rate of 7% is poor for an England side. The performance against Denmark was even worse, Denmark had 11 shots on target compared to England’s six and the Three Lions were lucky to escape with a point in an uninspiring 0-0 draw.

Tammy Abraham, Jadon Sancho and Ben Chilwell have a delayed meeting with the squad after Abraham’s surprise birthday party on Saturday breaking the Corona rules in England. They are set to miss the Wembley fixture because of UEFA testing protocols that require testing 48 hours before the game but were already told not to join the camp by the Football Association (FA).

The rate of the naivety shown in the England squad signals the lack of leadership and maturity that was evident in their success in getting to the World Cup semi-finals just two years. Raheem Sterling was dropped after an altercation with teammate Joe Gomez. Then we have had Manchester United captain Harry Maguire who was dropped by Gareth Southgate after being arrested following a night out in Mykonos. The England manager was then forced to send home Mason Greenwood and Phil Foden, two of England’s most promising players. The pair were caught flouting Covid-19 protocols by inviting two women back to the England team hotel, 24 hours after the Iceland match. These instances forced Southgate to schedule a talk with the squad to talk about the importance of wearing The Three Lions jersey.

Raheem Sterling has withdrawn from the squad with injury this time, adding more worries to the Man City manager who has already lost Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus to injuries.

While it does seem all doom and gloom for England at the moment, the big silver lining comes in the shape of Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin who could make his England debut in this fixture. The 23-year-old has been in stunning form, scoring six goals in four games in the Premier League and three goals in two games in the EFL Cup. Calvert-Lewin, who cost a ridiculous £1.5m from Sheffield United, looks a genuine contender for the Golden Boot.

The coronavirus has impacted Wales’s plans as Aaron Ramsey is in fiduciary isolation after two of Juventus’ non-playing staff tested positive for the virus. The Serie A champions were set to face Napoli, who failed to travel after two of their staff also tested positive. Ramsey’s club has introduced a bio-secure bubble which allows players to train and play, but not to have contact with anyone outside the group.

Wales’s next fixture against Ireland is already in doubt after the Ireland National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) alerted the government to move to level five coronavirus restrictions for four weeks. If this is implemented, Wales could return full lockdown and mean the halting of all sporting events.

Ramsey could hopefully make the squad in the more important UEFA Nations League fixtures against the Republic of Ireland in Dublin on Sunday and Bulgaria on Wednesday. However, West Brom striker Hal Robson-Kanu won’t feature with an arm injury.

Neco Williams was subject to social media abuse after Liverpool’s 7 – 2 win in the Carabao Cup third-round win at Lincoln. The 19-year old suspended his Twitter account after Liverpool fans criticised his performance. The youngster made his senior debut in October and has since made 14 appearances for his club, picking up a Premier League winners medal in the process. The Wrexham born player made his Wales debut as a substitute against Finland in September and came off the bench to score his first goal and the winning goal in their UEFA Nations League game against Bulgaria.

They will be without captain Gareth Bale who finally moved out of Real Madrid to go on loan at Tottenham. Bale spent seven years at White Hart Lane before the big money move to Spain but is still recovering from a knee injury. A happy Bale can be very productive as he is still one of the best talents in the world and would be a key component, especially with major international competitions coming up.

Team News

Sterling withdrew from the squad with an injury and will miss this encounter alongside Abraham, Sancho, and Chilwell.

England has only scored one goal in two games which was from the penalty spot, and they need to get back to scoring ways ahead of the next UEFA Nations League fixtures.

Ramsey will miss the friendly but could be back for the UEFA Nations League clash against Ireland and Bulgaria.

Neco Williams is the new hero for Wales after scoring a vital winner in their 1 – 0 win against Bulgaria.

Expected Line-Ups:

England (3-4-2-1): Pope, Walker, Coady, Mings, Trippier, Maitland-Niles, Rice, Grealish, Rashford, Kane, Calvert-Lewin
Subs: Henderson, Pickford, Alexander-Arnold, Dier, Gomez, Keane, Mount, Phillips, Ings
Not available:
Wales (4-2-3-1): Hennessey, Roberts, Lockyer, Ampadu, Davies, Smith, Morell. James, Brooks, Wilson, Moore
Subs: Ward, Davies, Gunter, Williams, Cabango, Lawrence, Levitt, Williams
Injured: Bale
Doubtful: Ramsey
Not available:

So Far This Season

. . .
England This Season Wales This Season
N/A League Position N/A
0 (0) Wins (away) 0 (0)
Biggest Win
0 (0) Draws (away) 0 (0)
Biggest Defeat
Top Goal Scorer
Y0, R0 Discipline Y0, R0
0 Failures to Score 0
100% Clean Sheets 100%
0% Both Teams to Score Games 0%
0% Over 2.5 Goals 0%
100% Under 2.5 Goals 100%
  • England and Wales have faced each other 102 times with the Three Lions winning 67, Wales 14 and 21 draws.
  • Wales have just scored a single goal in the last five games against England and will need to end this poor streak to have a chance of winning here.
  • England have just one goal in their last two competitive games, Dominic Calvert-Lewin is in red-hot form and could make his England debut.
  • Wales latest hero is Neco Williams who came off the bench to fire the winner against Bulgaria.

Head to Head

Last 5 meetings between the two sides
Date Competition Game Result First Goal-scorer
16/06/2016 Euro 2016 England 2 – 1 Wales Bale 6’
06/09/2011 Euro Qualifier England 1 – 0 Wales Young 35’
26/03/2011 Euro Qualifier Wales 0 – 2 England Bent 14’
03/09/2005 Friendly Wales 0 – 1 England J.Cole 54’
09/10/2004 WC Qualifier England 2 – 0 Wales Lampard 4’

Conclusion & Betting Tips

We seem to be talking more about England players off-field antics more than their performances on the pitch. This fixture against our close neighbours will hopefully shift the focus back to football. England’s last two games have been pretty dire and uninspiring; the introduction of Dominic Calvert-Lewin could change all that.

Wales will be gutted that Gareth Bale is injured, the new Tottenham man always makes the difference when he plays. In three games in the Nations League, he scored two and made an assist, claiming the man-of-the-match award in two of the games. They will instead turn to Cardiff forward Kieffer Moore; the Championship player has scored two goals in four games in the league and one in the Nations League.

Many expect an easy win for England here; we doubt that. The weakness of this England team is their unity, a strength for the Welsh. We believe a high scoring draw could be the result here, 2-2 looks attractive @ 22/1 at bet365. If Dominic Calvert-Lewin starts, his price of 11/10 to score at anytime looks attractive.