The moment the Euro 2016 draw was made, England vs Wales was one of the games that stood out the most. That mouth-watering clash is finally here, with a lot at stake as the two neighbours face off in this Group B match of the European Championships.
England will be a little more desperate for victory in Lens, after squandering three points against Russia, while Wales will look to seal a place in the quarterfinals with a win on Thursday.
For all the criticism that followed after England were held to a 1-1 draw by Russia, what the players and the manager will know is that they played pretty well on the day, and nine times out of ten that game would have ended up with three points in their favour.
What was lacking in the match with Russia was the end product, and while that part of the game is perhaps the most important aspect, England have enough finishers in their squad – Harry Kane, Wayne Rooney, Daniel Sturridge and Jamie Vardy, the latter two unlikely to start this game -- not to have to worry about it too much.
What England cannot do, though, is get overwhelmed by the occasion – they have a lot of youngsters, who could shine or hide under the spotlight of this big derby match – and let the taunting that Wales have done all week get to them. On paper, England should have enough to see off the challenge of Wales, provided they play to their potential.
"I've not heard anyone in the squad making reference to any comments that have been made," England manager Roy Hodgson was quoted as saying by The Guardian when asked about all the comments that Wales players have made leading up to this Euro 2016 match. "Whenever you play a game you will be classed as underdog or favourite but it really doesn't make a difference when that whistle blows.
"We know what we've got to do. We think we will be ready to do it. The reality of football rests on that patch of green between 90 and 95 minutes."
England did pretty well for 91 minutes against Russia, before a loss of concentration and a wonderful header lost them two points. That cannot happen against Wales, especially when they have a player of Gareth Bale's calibre. Bale scored in the 2-1 win over Slovakia, and will be the biggest threat to the England defence, along with the midfield running of Aaron Ramsey.
"We're ready. It's all about us taking care of our own business," Wales manager Chris Coleman was quoted as saying by UEFA's official website. "If we're going to get through we're going to get through of our own accord. It's a big test and a big challenge for us.
"If we win, we're there (in the knockouts), but if we don't we have another chance. We've got a chance to do something a bit special. We can be confident, it's not the time for us to think we're something that we're not."
Where to Watch Live
England vs Wales -- the big Euro 2016 match -- is scheduled for a 3 p.m. local time (6.30 p.m. IST, 2 p.m. BST, 9 a.m. EST) start. Below are all the live streaming and TV information.
India: TV: Sony Six/HD and Sone ESPN/HD. Live Streaming: Sonyliv.
UK: TV: BBC One and S4C. Live Streaming: BBCiPlayer.
France: TV: Bein Sports. Live Streaming: Bein Sports Connect.
USA: TV: ESPN 3. Live Streaming: Watch ESPN.
Thailand: TV: Channel 3 and CTH.
Singapore: TV: Eleven Singapore and Singtel. Live Streaming: Singtel Go.
Malaysia: TV: Astro.
Latin America: TV: DirecTV.
Middle East and North Africa: TV: Bein Sports Max. Live Streaming: Bein Sports
Australia: TV: Bein Sports and SBS One. Live Streaming: Bein Sports Connect.
Germany: TV: ZDF and ORF.
China and Hong Kong: TV: CCTV and LeTV.
Canada: TV: TSN and RDS. Live Streaming: TSN TV.