England take on Wales at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium on Tuesday 29th November, with both teams hunting down qualification from Group B.
Unless Wales manage a 4+ goal hammering of their fellow Brits, England should safely qualify for the round of 16.
Wales need to beat England and hope for a draw in the other Group B tie between USA and Iran. If that game does not end in a draw, they need to beat England by a 4-goal margin to advance.
Hyped for the big game? Check out our preview of the match below!
England Soar, Then Stumble
Gareth Southgate and his Three Lions couldn’t have got their tournament off to a better start. A 6-2 hammering of Iran at the Khalifa International Stadium.
Jude Bellingham opened the scoring in the 35th minute when he diverted Luke Shaw’s cross into the far corner with his head. Bukayo Saka doubled the lead with a fine effort from outside the area, before Raheem Sterling added a third when he turned in Harry Kane’s cross.
Saka added a fourth just after the hour mark before Iran pulled a goal back through Mehdi Taremi. Marcus Rashford restored England’s four goal advantage before Jack Grealish added a sixth late into the game. A Taremi penalty restored some Iranian pride but the match very much belonged to England.
Next up, USA at the Al Bayt Stadium. A win would have secured England safe passage into the knockouts. But it was never going to be that straight forward.
The game ended goalless after a stale 90 minutes. Harry Kane had England’s best chances. One early on that was deflected wide and another towards the end, a header he just couldn’t divert on target.
It leaves the Three Lions with work to do to if they are to qualify for the knockout stages of the competition.
Wales Heartbreak As Wayne Sees Red
For Wales, their dream of making it to a World Cup finals is finally a reality. Only once before, in 1958, have The Dragons made it to the biggest stage in world football. So, would they be able to hold their own?
The answer to that question midway through their opening game against the USA would probably have been no. Heading into the break a goal down after a poor opening 45, Wales looked like the occasion was getting to them. But a spirited fight back in the second half and a Gareth Bale penalty secured them a deserved opening day point.
Iran were next up and with so much on the line, a win for either team would be huge. It was a tight, tense affair with neither team wanting to give too much attacking space to the opposition.
Kieffer Moore had a golden chance early on but could only poke his effort straight at the goalkeeper. Iran then had the ball in the back of the net but it was ruled out for an obvious offside.
Iran ramped up the pressure in the second half, twice hitting the woodwork as they hunted down the winner. Then, a match-changing moment. Wayne Hennessey flying out of his area and taking out the oncoming Mehdi Taremi. After initially only getting a yellow card, VAR overruled and he was sent for an early bath.
Moments later, in the 98th minute of stoppage time, heartbreak for Wales. A long-range strike from Roozbeh Cheshmi nestled into the corner. A devastating blow. The Welsh resistance finally broken. Ramin Rezaeian added a second minutes later to seal the win, with the result leaving Wales a mountain to climb for qualification.
The last time Wales beat England was in 1984, with England winning the last six meetings between the two. The last tie at a major tournament was at Euro 2016, when a 91st minute winner from Daniel Sturridge secured the win for England.
Wales need to win if they are to have any hope of going through. England need to avoid defeat to advance, with a win securing top spot of Group B.
We think England will have too much strength for Wales. After their drab draw with the USA, the players will want to respond in style.
Wales have it all to play for and we expect them to show up and put in a performance, but England will be too strong. We think this one will end 3-1 to England.
How do you see this one playing out? Let us know on the socials make sure you keep it locked into @JDFootball for all the action from Qatar!
Copped your kit, yet? Both teams need all the support they can get so bag your shirt here and cheer ‘em on!
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JD Football | November 21, 2023