England vs Wales
England may have struggled against USA but Harry Kane looked the most likely of any to make a defining contribution.
A good chance in first half was brilliantly blocked and he went close at the death with a header from Luke Shaw’s free kick.
Kane registered 2 assists in the opening game against Iran. This season for Spurs he’s got 12 goals, 1 assist.
Across his previous 2 seasons he registered a ridiculous 40 goals and 23 assists.
Kane didn’t start the Euros in the most incredible fashion but soon kicked in to gear. He’s brilliant at providing for the players around him as well as being a potent goal scorer and of course our penalty taker.
We should be on the front foot for most of the 90 minutes. Kane will get his chance to tick this selection off in one way or another.
Yes, I absolutely love backing a Harry Maguire selection when it comes to England games.
He hit the bar on MD1 and claimed an assist, I backed him for a shot against USA which he delivered on and tonight it’s a shot on target we want from slabhead.
Some people may look at that selection and laugh it off, but he’s always great value.
Maguire averages 0.68 shots on target P/90 for England, that’s only beaten by Bellingham, Saka, Sterling and Kane.
He was also our 2nd top scorer in qualifying, netting 4 goals, only bettered by Harry Kane.
Maguire is the target of every England set piece. Despite his flaws, he is an absolute monster in the air and wins just about every battle.
When compared to centre halves across the top 5 leagues, Maguire ranks very well for numerous key stats.
He’s too 85% for aerials won, top 89% for touches in the opponents box and top 83% for shot creating actions.
England are devastating from set plays, we saw that at the Euros and 2018 WC. We’re perhaps yet to see it in full effect at this tournament but I expect us to get a good few chances here against a Wales side who’ll commit plenty of fouls.
With Shaw, Tripps/TAA and co, we also have a lot of options for a great dead ball delivery, depending on who’s on the pitch.
Ampadu should start in the heart of the Wales midfield, he’s committed 3 fouls across their first 2 games, only Chris Mepham has made more.
He was booked in 2/3 Nations League matches and domestically he’s been an absolute card machine.
He spent last season at Venezia, where he accumulated 13 cards in just 29 matches. This season he’s back in Italy at Spezia, where he’s been booked 3 times in 10 matches.
Whatever makeup England go with in attack spells big trouble for Ampadu.
Jack Grealish has only played 45 minutes of football yet has been fouled 7 times, he’s in like to start this evening.
Despite poor performances, one man who draws a lot of fouls too is Mason Mount. Another player who’ll be in close proximity to Ampadu; Mount has already been fouled 6 times.
Ampadu is still quite raw and seems to be stuck in a bit of a limbo between being a centre half or midfielder. I personally think he struggles in midfield and given England’s quality and experience, he’s my top pick for a booking tonight.
Pretty self explanatory this. I expect us to dominate the game and give Wales very few opportunities.
The Welsh are on their way out and I imagine we’ll see frustration set in and in a game against their rivals, there’s ample opportunities for them to lose their heads.
Also, Wales have had 3 yellows and a red in their 2 games so far. Whereas England, are yet to receive a single booking.
In qualifying, England accumulated 14 cards in their 10 matches.
Of those 14 cards, they were picked up by 13 different players. The only player with more than 1 was Tyrone Mings. 3 other players in that list have also not been selected. So of the entire squad going to Qatar, they totalled just 9 cards during qualifying.
During the Euros, England’s opponents had the most cards in each of their group matches. The Three Lions in fact had just 1 booking in their group, which was given to Phil Foden on match day 1.
With Wales going home, there’s very little to worry about in terms of suspension for those that have already been booked such as Chris Mepham and Joe Rodon. Expect no punches pulled.