England host Wales in an international friendly match on Thursday in a 7:45pm kick-off at Wembley.
England manager Gareth Southgate has chosen to provide the likes of Bukayo Saka, Harvey Barnes and Dominic Calvert-Lewin with their first England call-ups, and all three may start against Wales in what is expected to be an experimental XI.
However, Ben Chilwell, Jadon Sancho and Tammy Abraham were caught breaking Coronavirus rules at the latter’s surprise birthday party last weekend; consequently none will be available for this match with Southgate and the FA still determining whether they should join up with the rest of the squad. Manchester City‘s Raheem Sterling has pulled out through injury.
Wales manager Ryan Giggs, meanwhile, will be without Gareth Bale, Joe Allen, Tom Lockyer and Hal Robson-Kanu through injury, while Aaron Ramsey will not join the squad until the weekend as a precautionary measure after a couple of non-playing staff at Juventus tested positive for Coronavirus.
With Wales missing their best two players, it’s perhaps little surprise to see England heavily odds-on to win the match at 3/10. The draw is 9/2, with a Wales win 8/1.
Wales are actually unbeaten in their last eight matches since the 1-0 defeat in Hungary last June. It’s almost a year to the day since England’s last defeat, meanwhile, which came in a 2-1 defeat at the Czech Republic.
The last meeting between these two neighbouring countries came at Euro 2016 in France, when a last minute Daniel Sturridge winner earned England three points in the group stage. Wales had the last laugh, however, famously progressing to the semi-final while England were embarrassingly dumped out by Iceland in the last 16.
England have won the last five meetings between the two sides, and it’s tough to see beyond them making it six in a row given their greater quality and strength in depth, especially with the absences of Bale and Ramsey.
Should Calvert-Lewin start on his debut as expected, he’ll be well-backed to score after an exceptional start to the season. The Everton man has nine goals in six games for his club so far, and is 21/20 (bet365) to join an ever-growing list of England players to score on their debut.
Potential strike partners Harry Kane, Danny Ings and Marcus Rashford are 10/11 (Sky Bet), 11/10 (bet365) and 5/4 (bet365) respectively to score against the Dragons.
Barnes and Jack Grealish have been in exceptional form for their clubs at the start of this season and may start for their country for the first time. They’re 5/2 (Betfair) and 11/4 (bet365) to score their first goals for their country.
Cardiff striker Kieffer Moore is likely to lead the line for Wales and is 9/2 (bet365) to score anytime. The target man has three goals in seven caps having impressed in the Euro 2021 qualification campaign.
However, England have not conceded in their last five games, making 11/10 (Sky Bet) on England winning to nil look pretty good value.
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