Both English and Welsh fans went through all the emotions when they met in Lens on Thursday:
Nerves – can I get this pint in before kick off?
Tension – the first 40 minutes
Hilarity – Joe Hart focusing too hard on his dandruff to keep out Gareth Bale
More hilarity – Raheem Sterling
Ultimately, it was minor heartbreak for the Welsh as Danny Sturridge scored an injury time winner. But it’s not like the Dragons have a lack of partners to turn to. They’ve got to focus ahead of a game against Russia while at the same time England will look to finish top by beating Slovakia. We’ve got two surefire scorers to finish off Group B.
Jamie Vardy – England vs Slovakia
It’s quite a dangerous game for England to have to win against Slovakia. Lose and they face the possibility of finishing third place in the group and face a minefield in the last 16. But a win will secure top spot and a nice easy passage through.
Roy Hodgson could prove to be more stubborn than a mule and again go unchanged, but that would be incredible stupid given the impact of all three of his subs against Wales. One of whom just happened to be the top scorer for the Premier League champions.
It’s hard to see how Jamie Vardy was left on the bench in the first place. In his previous four England appearances in 2016, Vardy had scored three times. And after Harry Kane proved to be as good at corners as he is at limbo, Vardy has to start against the Slovaks. They weren’t able to deal with the pace of Aaron Ramsey, they won’t be able to deal with the inevitable chat from England’s number 11. When your shot accuracy is just under 60% over 38 games, you deserve a start. He’s to score anytime.
Gareth Bale – Wales vs Russia
Do we have to spell out why we think Gareth Bale is going to score against Russia? His two goals so far in Euro 2016 have been against decent defences but came as a result terrible goalkeeping. With Russia, he’s against a side with a decent goalkeeper, but a very shoddy defence. They were bad against England, they were worse against Slovakia and their fans are showing more fight than the team.
Wales have had ten shots. Gareth Bale has taken eight of them. He’s scored two of their three goals so far and has been coming up against far tougher defences in Spain. Four of the five defenders used by Leonid Slutski so far play in the Russian league. Bale’s got on the ball more than any other Welsh player and has a succesful take on percentage of 73%. So he will get into the space and that is when he’s most dangerous.
Russia need the win, which should make them gung ho in attack. Bale () and Wales will punish them.