England vs Wales Preview
England travel to the Millennium Stadium to take on old rivals Wales in what should be a fiery encounter in the ongoing qualification matches for the 2012 European Championships. The English side sit in second pace in the qualification table behind leaders Montenegro, whilst Gary Speed’s Wales side are rock bottom following three defeats from three games.
England’s campaign started slowly with a disappointing 0-0 draw at home to Montenegro, but since then Fabio Capello’s men have recorded good wins over Switzerland and Bulgaria to put them in a good position in the group. Chelsea defender John Terry has been reinstated as captain and will lead the team out on Saturday. Capello has a wealth of riches to call upon, and will most likely include young Arsenal sensation Jack Wilshere in his starting line-up in central midfield. Capello will be without winger Adam Johnson and defender Rio Ferdinand, who are both unavailable through injury.
Hosts Wales are without key player Gareth Bale, as the Tottenham winger pulled a hamstring in training. This is a massive blow for the home side, as Bale is one of the form players in British football and had the ability to cause his opponents problems; England will be glad he isn’t playing. Arsenal youngster Aaron Ramsey has been given the captaincy in place of experienced striker Craig Bellamy, whose injury woes mean that he is unable to continually feature for his international side. Defenders James Collins and Ashley Williams will be pivotal in leading the Welsh rearguard and shackling the English attack.
In what will be a passionate and heated game, both sides will look to attack their opposition and the first goal will be all important. Bale’s injury for Wales is a massive blow for them and without him they do not have the potency and attacking flair to threaten England, hence I will predict an away win, perhaps 2-0 to the English side.