Wales are facing a daunting task as they face England in a must-win clash on Tuesday at the Ahmed bin Ali Stadium.
In the battle of the two British nations, only a winner will prevail and Wales will try to be in the winning zone when they face arch-rivals England on this bigger stage.
Gareth Bale and Co are on the brink of an early World Cup exit unless they turn it around, which has been the case in this tournament as comparatively small teams have been the surprising element in this edition.
Knowing only a win could rescue their situation the Welsh are expected to go all guns blazing from the very first moment. Their 64-year-old wait to appear in the World Cup finals cannot just evaporate like this and there could be a very exciting finale on the cards.
England announced their arrival on the big stage with a stupendous win over Iran but failed to get past the United States of America in the following match. A draw would do for them to qualify for the next round but the Three Lions would be keen to finish the group stage on a high.
If the other match ends as a stalemate, England still will go through unless they are facing some serious backlash as Wales can still qualify if they beat their British rivals by four goals.
England’s pre-World Cup form hadn’t been that encouraging but they managed to douse the fire as of now. But they cannot afford to bear complacency anywhere near their side as it could be the reason for their downfall.
England are very much in contention to get through to the knockouts but this tournament has already sprung so many surprises and another one could be in the offing.
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Wayne Hennessey will be serving a suspension following his red card against Iran and Danny Ward will take his place. Joe Rodon, Chris Mepham and Ben Davies will be facing a monumental task to keep the England attackers at bay.
Connor Roberts and Neco Williams will be supplementing the attack from their right and left wingback positions respectively. Aaron Ramsey and Ethan Ampadu will shore up the midfield as they will try to override the likes of Declan Rice and Jude Bellingham.
Daniel James will take his position on the right wing while the veteran Gareth Bale will line up on the left. Kieffer Moore will try to make his presence felt up front.
Probable Lineup (3-4-3): Ward; Mepham, Rodon, Davies; Roberts, Ramsey, Ampadu, Williams; James, Moore, Bale
Jordan Pickford will be in the England goal once again. John Stones and Harry Maguire have shown their astute understanding in the heart of the defence and they will be up against a very spirited Wales side.
Despite Kyle Walker getting back his match fitness Kieran Trippier should get the nod on the right side of the defence while Luke Shaw should continue on the left.
25 #ThreeLions players are training in Qatar ahead of tomorrow's game against Wales, with @ben6white absent through illness. @JHenderson will join Gareth Southgate for our pre-match media conference later today. pic.twitter.com/zikKxfYraX
— England (@England) November 28, 2022
Declan Rice and Jude Bellingham will be gearing up for a tough battle in the middle of the pitch.
Bukayo Saka will make way for Phil Foden who will get his first start in the World Cup. Raheem Sterling will appear on the left wing while Mason Mount will be the most advanced midfielder.
Harry Kane will lead the line.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Pickford; Trippier, Stones, Maguire, Shaw; Rice, Bellingham; Sterling, Mount, Foden; Kane
- England have had pretty one-sided results as they are on a six-match winning run against the Welsh.
- In the past, there have been only two occasions in the World Cup where the Three Lions lost their last group-stage game.
- England’s stalemate with the USA was their 12th goalless draw in the World Cup.
- Wales are currently winless in their last seven games in all competitions.
If Wales are to grind out something from this match Gareth Bale will have to produce a majestic display. The former Real Madrid forward will be facing a mountain to climb but he has expressed his brilliance on occasions like this and perhaps the stage is set for him to inflict an unlikely misery on England.
Wales 0-2 England
England will not panic and will try to organise their proceedings in this huge game. They have accumulated a squad worthy of being the contender for the World Cup crown. A two-goal cushion would be enough as it would be tough to break Wales’ stringent backline.