Great rivals England and Wales come together for the first time in four years on Thursday as they do battle at Wembley Stadium.
In an international break that is marred by distractions of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic, Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions host Ryan Giggs’ Dragons at Wembley Stadium in an effort to continue their good firm.
The hosts come into the clash on a run of five matches undefeated, scoring 18 goals in that time despite the 0-0 draw with Denmark in Copenhagen last time out. They are also imperious at Wembley having not lost a match at the national stadium since a 2-1 reverse at the hands of the Netherlands back in March 2016. This could explain then as to why the Three Lions can be backed at odds as narrow as 1/3 with William Hill to win the match.
Wales really should not be counted out of the clash though. The Dragons have won their last four matches in all without conceding a goal; their best run in over 40 years. They now have a fantastic chance to secure five consecutive victories for the first time since 1975 and there will surely be no better opponent in which to do that against than England. Giggs’ troops are available at odds of 9/1 to win, whilst a draw between the two is at 4/1.
Whilst having not met since the two teams’ clash at Euro 2016, where a late Daniel Sturridge goal saw England run out 2-1 winners, the past matches could provide some clues how this game could play out. The Three Lions have actually won the last five meetings between the two nations, with four of those victories being to nil. Odds of 11/10 with Paddy Power are available for them to do that once again in the latest clash.
Despite the positive omens heading into the clash, the Three Lions are without a few key players. Raheem Sterling has been ruled out with injury, joining Mason Greenwood and Phil Foden on the sidelines. Meanwhile, Ben Chilwell, Jadon Sancho and Tammy Abraham are all unlikely to appear. That means that once again, Harry Kane is the favourite to open the scoring at Wembley at odds of 2/1 with Betfair.
The visitors also have their own significant absentees. Recent Tottenham Hotspur signing Gareth Bale is not yet fit, while Juventus midfielder Aaron Ramsey is also absent having tested positive for COVID-19. The worries do not end there though, with Joe Allen (achilles), Hal Robson-Kanu (arm) and Tom Lockyer (ankle) all out. Consequently, Kieffer Moore is the favourite to break the deadlock from a Welsh perspective at 12/1.