Wales vs England: End of era beckons for Gareth Bale and co as Wales eye World Cup miracle against England in blockbuster 'Battle of Britain'

The odds are heavily stacked against Wales reaching the last 16 ahead of their so-called Battle of Britain against England on Tuesday evening

By Callum Davis Published: 29 November 2022 - 1.04pm
Harry Kane and Gareth Bale

All eyes will be on the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium in Qatar as home nation rivals Wales and England go head-to-head in a World Cup Battle of Britain.

England will book their place in the knockout stage with a draw, while a win will seal top spot in the group.

Wales know they must beat England for the first time this century, and hope the match between the United States and Iran ends in a draw.

If the other game has a winner, Robert Page's side face the daunting prospect of having to beat the Three Lions by at least four goals to avoid the World Cup exit door.

Read on for everything you need to know about how to watch the game, including TV channel information and team news. 

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Wales vs England match preview

Wales know they need a miracle if they are to avoid an early exit and prolong their World Cup adventure.

The Dragons have waited 64 long years to qualify for a World Cup but it could end up being a brief stay in the Middle East after a shock 2-0 defeat to Iran last time out.

The result leaves Wales bottom of Group B and needing to beat England for only the 14th time in their 143-year rivalry.

Robbie Savage's World Cup column

Click here to read former Wales international Robbie Savage's reaction to his country's 2-0 World Cup defeat to Iran.

Even a victory might not be enough to save Wales, as they would also need the other remaining group match between Iran and the United States to end in a draw.

There is one other scenario, one which has never happened before: if Wales beat England by four goals, in which then they will progress at the expense of England, regardless of the result elsewhere.

While the complexities of the maths are head-spinning, it's a simple task for Wales, who are looking to snap a run of six consecutive defeats against their old rivals and claim a first win over England since 1984.

For that to happen they will require one last hurrah from their talismen Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey, both anonymous in the defeat to Iran.

Bale, Wales' captain and all-time leading scorer, is widely regarded as the greatest player to come from the country, while Ramsey is not far behind in the rankings and both will go down in history as greats of Welsh football.

But against Iran they produced two of their worst displays in international football as Wales failed to lay a glove on their opponents.

In what could be his final international appearance for his country, Bale will be desperate to go out on a high on the world stage against a host of familiar faces from his time in the Premier League.

England missed the opportunity to reach the last 16 with a game to spare

England already have one foot in the last 16 but it has been far from plain sailing for the Group B leaders.

The Three Lions remain in a strong position to reach the last 16, largely because of their 6-2 thrashing of Iran in their opener.

But Friday's lacklustre performance against USA was greeted by loud jeers from fans at the final whistle.

Having started the tournament so brightly, England missed the opportunity to reach the knockout stage with one game to spare after playing out a dismal 0-0 with their cousins across the Atlantic.

Southgate named an unchanged line-up for the clash with USA, but could make alterations against Wales.

Only a four-goal defeat could send England crashing out so there is an opportunity for Southgate to tinker with his line-up and protect striker Harry Kane ahead of the last 16.

World Cup 2018 Golden Boot winner Kane is yet to score in the tournament and was subdued against the United States having recovered from a foot injury sustained against Iran.

Meanwhile Phil Foden could finally be given a chance to make his mark on this World Cup having played a bit part so far.

Eyebrows were raised when Southgate opted against using Foden as a substitute in the underwhelming draw with the United States, choosing instead to play Jack Grealish and Marcus Rashford. 

Foden's lack of game time has been hot topic of debate but Tuesday night could well be Foden's coming out party on the world stage.

What channel is Wales vs England?

Wales vs England kicks off at 7pm on Tuesday 29 November.

Coverage from the Ahmed bin Ali Stadium begins at 6pm on BBC One via BT TV.

Who could England face in the last 16?

If England win Group B

The winners of Group B will play the runners-up from Group A.

Senegal are England's most likely opponents with Qatar, Holland and Ecuador the other candidates.

France are favourites to win Group D, over Denmark, Tunisia and Australia, and would face the Group C runner-up out of Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Mexico or Poland to win the chance to face England in the quarter-finals, should Southgate's men make it out of the last-16 knock-out round. 

If England reached the semi-finals, they could meet either Belgium or Portugal, strong contenders in Group F and H, and a potential final could see England meet Spain, Brazil, or Germany.

 

If England finish as runners-up in Group B

This would set up a clash between the winner of Group A, and if England were to beat Holland, they could face Argentina or Denmark in the quarter-finals. 

In this scenario, should England make it to the semi-finals, their opponents might be one of either Spain, Germany, or Brazil, the cream of the crop from Groups E and G, to set up a possible final against France, Belgium, or Portugal in Lusail. 

Wales vs England predicted line-ups

Wales: Ward; Mepham, Rodon, Davies; Roberts, Ramsey, Allen, Wilson, Williams; Bale, Moore

England: Pickford; Trippier, Maguire, Stones, Shaw; Rice, Henderson, Bellingham; Foden, Kane, Saka.

Wales goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey is suspended after his red card against Iran

Wales vs England: Injuries and suspensions

Nottingham Forest goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey will miss the game through suspension after being shown a straight red card in the defeat to Iran.

With the game still locked at 0-0, Hennessey was sent off for a reckless challenge on Iran's Mehdi Taremi, with Wales going on to concede two stoppage-time goals.

It means Leicester City stopper Danny Ward will now start in their final group game against England.

Elsewhere, Joe Allen returned in midfield as a late substitute having overcome the hamstring injury that had kept him out since September.

Allen is expected to start from the off against England with Ethan Ampadu set to drop to the bench. 

Meanwhile England could hand Qatar debuts to Kyle Walker and Kalvin Phillips after the Man City duo both declared themselves fit for Friday's USA draw. 

James Maddison is available to make his first appearance of the tournament after recovering from a knee injury, while Kane could be wrapped in cotton wool with sterner tests likely to come further down the road.

Wales vs England: Form guide

Wales will have to do something they haven't managed for almost 30 years in order to progress: beat England. 

In a rivalry that dates all the way back to 1879, Wales have only beaten their rivals across the River Severn 13 times in 103 meetings. 

England have beaten Wales 68 times and lost 14, while 21 games have ended in a draw.

Form (last five matches)

Wales: LLLDL

England: LLDWD

The last time the two sides met at a major tournament came six years ago. 

Former Liverpool and Chelsea striker Daniel Sturridge scored a dramatic injury-time winner as Roy Hodgson's England came from behind to beat Wales 2-1.

England goalkeeper Joe Hart's dreadful blunder allowed Gareth Bale's 30-yard free-kick to creep in and put Wales ahead before second-half goals from Jamie Vardy and Sturridge secured England's first win of the tournament. 

The Three Lions would go on to lose to Iceland in the last 16 in one of the most infamous defeats in England's history.

Daniel Sturridge was England's match winner when the two sides last met at a major tournament in Euro 2016

What are people saying?

Southgate on Phil Foden's limited role at the World Cup so far:

"We love Phil, he's a super player. He's going to play a big part in this tournament for us.

"He can play on either flank and can play as a false nine if we chose to do that.

"He can play off a striker, although he doesn't do that as much at club level so that's maybe applicable to certain games or certain moments.

"He's a very flexible player in terms of the attributes he has and where he can have an impact. He's a goal threat, which is also very important."

 

Wales captain Bale on Wales' chances of upsetting the odds:

“There’s been a few shocks in the tournament already and there’s no reason why we can’t do the same.

“Everyone has weaknesses. We’ve done our homework and had meetings, and I’m sure they’ve done the same with us.

“We know how difficult it will be. England are a very good team, They’re one of the favourites to win the tournament.

“We are under no illusions it will be hard, we’re going to give everything like we always do.”