England vs Wales Preview: Three Lions must bounce back against buoyed Welsh

England's need for three points has added that little bit more spice to the rivalry, as Wales dare look to past the group stages.

England vs Wales Preview: Three Lions must bounce back against buoyed Welsh
Photo: Harry Robinson/VAVEL UK

Following late heartbreak in the opener against Russia, it’s crucial that England bounce back. It won’t be an easy test for Roy Hodgson’s men as Wales will be buoyed by their win over Slovakia.

Wales are without a win against the Three Lions in five games, with England been victorious in the past four, keeping a clean sheet in each win.

England were far from poor against Russia and should have been out of sight by half-time. However, they were ultimately punished for their lack of clinical finishing. They dominated the game from the off and goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev was the man of the moment, keeping them in the game.

Wales had a memorable opening match - Slovakia | Photo: Dennis Grombkowski/Getty Images
Wales had a memorable opening match - Slovakia | Photo: Dennis Grombkowski/Getty Images

With 17 minutes remaining, it looked like Russia’s resilience was finally broken and England would run away with the three points they deserved when Eric Dier smashed a free-kick into the net.

Though, Roy Hodgson was punished for his substitutions. He received criticism for opting to substitute Wayne Rooney off, who up until then, was running the game for England. Rooney should be a sure start against Wales whereas question marks have been raised over whether Raheem Sterling should be in the starting eleven. The £50million man failed to impress and was left chasing shadows.

Hodgson set to name unchanged side

Sterling isn't the only player who performed below par against Russia, with Harry Kane also delivering an uninspiring performance despite being in fine form for Tottenham. Though Sterling and Kane both performed poorly and there have been many calls for Jamie Vardy to start, reports from The Times suggest that Hodgson will name an unchanged side. Whilst a change or two may be best for England, an unchanged side wouldn't be the end of the world, as they did dominate the entirety of the game against Russia.

Whilst Wales did impress against Slovakia, they were very lucky with their winning goal. A shinned shot from substitute Hal Robson-Kanu secured the points for Chris Coleman’s men. Star man Gareth Bale bagged the opener, with a dipping free-kick. Bale will have angered those in the England camp, as well as the Three Lion fans, by stating that no England player could get into the Wales starting eleven.

Hodgson will look to make the Real Madrid man eat his words, knowing that if England don’t win, it could be another early exit from a major tournament, and his job could very well be on the line.

Wales also without injury issues

Like England, there doesn't seem like much of a chance of a mix-up regards to the starting eleven as Coleman may also look to name an unchanged side. However, Joe Ledley may make a return after fracturing his leg in May.