England and Wales, a rivalry more identified with rugby than football, but the sport of football will take centre-stage when these two teams meet in a Group B Euro 2016 match in Lens. With Wales coming off a massive win, confidence will be high, but in England, they will face their stiffest test yet in the competition, and how the likes of Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey come out of that will be interesting to see.
While Wales already have three points in their kitty, England only have one, after they conceded a late goal against Russia. That will still be hurting them, but the only way to move on from that disappointment is by beating Wales on Thursday.
Here is a prediction of how England vs Wales could play out:
England with plenty of possession in the first 15 minutes, with Wayne Rooney seeing a lot of the ball in midfield. Wales cannot seem to hold onto the ball long enough, but they are satisfied by the fact that England have not had any clear-cut chances, despite holding the lion's share of the possession. Indeed, Wales are the first to create a really-good goalscoring chance, as Bale make a run down the right, before picking out a pass for Ramsey, who scuffs his volley a little from 15 yards out, with the strike, as a result, saved by Joe Hart.
The English up the ante after that Wales chance, and immediately there is an opportunity created. Rooney and Dele Alli are at the forefront, with the two pinging a couple of passes to each other, before putting Harry Kane through on goal. The Tottenham striker did not have a great time of it against Russia, but he shows his class in front of goal, making no mistake with the finish to put England 1-0 ahead.
So it remains at halftime, and while Wales come out stronger in the second half, England always look that wee bit better. The telling blow is struck in the 56th minute when Adam Lallana crosses towards the far post for Raheem Sterling to hook one back in and Rooney to strike low and hard into the bottom corner. It is 2-0 to England now and Wales are getting desperate, which, in turn, opens up space for England to counter. A couple of golden opportunities go begging, with Jamie Vardy, on as a substitute also striking the post, before the cat is put amongst the pigeons when Bale sees a long-range strike take a bit of a deflection off Chris Smalling and into the net past Hart.
However, England do not fold like they did against Russia, with Vardy getting his first ever major tournament goal, as he springs in behind the Wales defence, off a long pass from another substitute – Jack Wilshere – to finish with aplomb and give his team a 3-1 victory.