After a comprehensive win against Bulgaria, Fabio Capello will be looking for his England side to repeat that performance and provide another three points that will leave them on the edge of qualification.
Wales’ result against Montenegro on Friday has certainly lifted confidence and they should be well motivated and provide determined opposition on Tuesday night, their squad is full of competent players and has a sprinkling of real class performers like Arsenals Aaron Ramsey and Tottenhams Gareth Bale, the return of defender James Collins will help stiffen up their rearguard but the loss through suspension of Craig Bellamy and David Vaughan weakens them in other areas. Jack Collison may make his first competitive start for Wales in this game and if he does, he will be up against a resilient England midfield that started with Gareth Barry and Scott Parker in the last game, those two broke up the play and passed the ball neatly on to the more creative players in the side, Wales will look to stop that happening in this game by picking up any loose balls and getting it out wide to their own dangerman Gareth Bale.
The match up between Bale and his expected opponent, Chris Smalling could be an exciting one, Smalling survived a couple of errors against Bulgaria but apart from those slips, looked solid and comfortable at international level, he’s also shown an ability to get forward well and contribute to the attack if needed, he may not get much chance to do that against Wales as he’s likely to have his hands full with Gareth Bale, Wales’ man of the match against Montenegro. Bale played wide right in that one but with Vaughan suspended he is expected to switch flanks.
When comparing the two squads, it really does seem a mismatch, England have players competing in the Champions League regularly and at the biggest clubs in the country, Wales on the other hand only have a handful of players competing in European competition with their clubs and only the captain Aaron Ramsey will be featuring in the Champions League this season. Wales will hope that Kurt Koffka was right when he said that “The whole is more than the sum of its parts” as that looks their only chance of winning.
My predicted England side:
Smalling, Cahill, Terry, Cole
Walcott, Milner, Downing
I predict an England victory in this match, probably by two clear goals.
Theo Walcott to score at any time: 2.88 with BoyleSports
Wales +2.5: 1.7 with Bet365
Correct Score: England 2-0, currently 6.5 at several bookmakers.
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