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Tuesday, March 28, 2023
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Wales confident to beat England

AT 3.00am Wednesday, in the first-ever British home nations clash in the World Cup, in the so-called “Battle of Britain”, one of England or Wales will seriously stake it out.

Wales are confident of turning the tables at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in this crucial clash to decide the final positionings in Group ‘B’.

“The dragon on my shirt; that’s all I need,” Wales star Gareth Bale said, looking down at the Wales crest on his red polo shirt.

On paper, it’s England as they are top of the group and need just a point to secure their passage to the knockout stages, while Wales are on the verge of elimination. 

CHANGES IN LINEUP

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They must beat England for the first time since 1984 in order to advance, along with hoping that Iran and the USA draw.

England boss Gareth Southgate may make changes to the lineup that started both against Iran and Wales, amid widespread clamour for Phil Foden to be introduced.

But Bale is confident they are capable of shocking England in World Cup showdown.

“There’s been a few shocks in the tournament already and there’s no reason why we can’t do the same,” the 33-year-old said. “Everyone has weaknesses. We’ve done our homework and had meetings, and I’m sure they’ve done the same with us.

FAVOURITES TO WIN

“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.”

Even then, mathematically, unless England are beaten by a four-goal margin, Wales need Iran and the United States to draw their final match to make the round of 16 in Qatar.

It is a very tall order for a Wales side who have won only once in 10 games. But Bale says they can draw on respective underdog victories for Japan, Morocco and Saudi Arabia over Germany, Belgium and Argentina.

So, who’s your pick for this “Battle of Britain”?

Keep your fingers crossed for a surprise, perhaps.

* Suresh Nair is an award-winning sports journalist who is also a qualified international coach and international referee instructor.

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