Wales vs England

Ahmad bin Ali Stadium is the venue as Wales and England go head-to-head in a crunch 2022 World Cup Group B encounter.

After eking out a 1-1 draw against the United States on day one, Wales paid the ultimate price for Wayne Hennessey’s second-half red card as Iran toppled them 2-0 in round two. If the ‘Red Dragons’ are to avoid the fate of the ‘1958 generation’ that bowed out of the group stages, they need to beat England for the first time since 1984 and hope Iran and the US draw in Group B’s other fixture. Not only is that prospect far-fetched, but Rob Page’s men have lost their last six meetings with their more heavily fancied neighbours by an aggregate score of 11-1. It’s also worth noting that they’ve lost their winning touch since ousting Ukraine 1-0 in the World Cup playoffs final, going winless in seven successive internationals since (D2, L5).

In the meantime, England’s eye-catching 6-2 demolition of Iran on the opening matchday seems like a fluke, considering Gareth Southgate’s team put on another underwhelming showing in a scoreless draw with the US, their 12th 0-0 stalemate at the tournament. However, all the ‘Three Lions’ have to do to progress beyond the World Cup group stages for the second time in a row is to avoid defeat here. While the odds back them for success, it’s worth mentioning that the abovementioned thumping of Iran remains England’s solitary triumph in eight matches (D4, L3), five of which saw them fail to get on the scoresheet. With that accounting for the joint-fewest number of wins during an eight-game span since 2002, it’s no wonder England fans are demanding Southgate’s resignation.

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