Preview: England v Wales
Thursday, 16 June 2016
Managers Roy Hodgson and Chris Coleman are in agreement that the pressure is on England as they take on neighbours Wales for the 104th time with Group B wide open.
Article top media content
- Neighbours England and Wales resume their rivalry in Group B
- The sides have met 101 times, England winning 66 and Wales 14
- England manager Roy Hodgson: "They are under less pressure"
- Wales' Chris Coleman: "We've got a chance to do something special"
- Coleman briefly played under Hodgson at Blackburn Rovers
England: Hart; Walker, Smalling, Cahill, Rose; Alli, Dier, Rooney; Lallana, Kane, Sterling.
Wales: Hennessey; Gunter, Chester, Williams, Davies, Taylor; Allen, Ledley; Ramsey, Bale; Robson-Kanu.
Roy Hodgson, England manager
The derby atmosphere is great. Many people in England and Great Britain – perhaps even around the world – are looking forward to this game; the fact it is a game against brothers, if you like, adds spice, it adds interest and that is something I can only welcome. If anything it heightens the occasion rather than lessens it.
We don't expect changes in their style or personnel, or what they do when they do and don't have the ball. We won't be able to spring any surprises either. They know our players. Talk is talk and action on the field is action on the field. They are under less pressure to win the game because normally when you have won a game and three qualify, you are basically qualified the moment you win.
Chris Coleman, Wales manager
We're ready. It's all about us taking care of our own business. If we're going to get through we're going to get through of our own accord. It's a big test and a big challenge for us. If we win we're there, but if we don't we have another chance. We've got a chance to do something a bit special. We can be confident, it's not the time for us to think we're something that we're not.
We've got to care of ourselves and not worry about the opposition, whoever they are. I'm more concerned with my lot than England. We can only concentrate on ourselves. I'm not disrespecting England by saying it's just another game. We have to make sure the occasion doesn't get the better of us, I will be making sure my players remain calm and focused. There's a lot more pressure and expectancy on England, but our pressure comes from within the group.
EURO2016.com team reporters in Lens
Simon Hart, England (@UEFAcomSimonH)
The history of this fixture makes England favourites but as Hodgson says, it is his own team who enter the contest under pressure after dropping two points late on against Russia. It seems unlikely Hodgson will change too much given the positives of England's display last Saturday and he will be hoping for another strong showing from his full-backs, Kyle Walker and Danny Rose, who could have a key role in stretching the Wales rearguard and creating space for England's forwards and midfield runners.
Mark Pitman, Wales (@UEFAcomMarkP)
Coleman has been waiting on the fitness of first-choice goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey, who suffered a back spasm which kept him out of the opening game. Meanwhile, Joe Ledley continues his return to full fitness and could be drafted into the starting line-up. The same applies to striker Hal Robson-Kanu, and while the decision to name him on the bench against Slovakia was a tactical one, his winning goal could put him in contention to start against England.
Form guide (all competitions, most recent first)
Did you know?
Wales have never before reached a UEFA European Championship final tournament. Their previous best came in 1976, when they lost to Yugoslavia 3-1 on aggregate in the quarter-finals, losing the first leg 2-0 in Zagreb before a 1-1 draw in Cardiff. Find out more in our extensive match background.
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