England hope to finish strong in Group B's Battle of Britain as Wales need miracle - full guide

29 November 2022, 08:47 | Updated: 29 November 2022, 10:21

Wales and England football flags and team captains
Wales need a miracle to stop England from going through. Picture: Alamy
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

Gareth Southgate will hope his England side can finish Group B strong as they gear up for a 'Battle of Britain' with Wales, who are facing an early exit at their first World Cup in 64 years.

Qatar's World Cup of 2022 is heating up as Gareth Southgate's England football team are set to take on Rob Page's Welsh team in the final match of Group B.

England played out a lacklustre 0-0 draw against USA in their second game after a thrilling 6-2 victory against Iran in the Group B opener.

Southgate looks set to make a series of changes to ensure his side tops the group, though Wales would need to win by at four goals to stop their neighbour from progressing.

Read more: Rainbow flag-wielding spectator storms pitch in World Cup match to protest Qatar homophobic regime

Read more: 'Woke' Royal Mail bosses ban staff from flying England or Wales flags during World Cup

Here's our guide to the England Vs Wales match including team line-ups, the latest news and how to watch.

What changes could Southgate make to the England team?

Jordan Henderson's appearance at the pre-match conference suggests he's in line for a start
Jordan Henderson's appearance at the pre-match conference suggests he's in line for a start. Picture: Getty

Much of fan focus since England's draw against USA has centred around Manchester City forward Phil Foden, who has only featured as a substitute so far.

Southgate has spoken of the need to protect the young star, who is still only 22 years old.

“We have to be careful because we are putting a lot of pressure on him now,” Southgate said.

“We’re a team and we need all of the players and they can all play a part but not any one of them is the reason we will win or lose.

“We need to make sure we are not building Phil into as situation where actually if he steps on the pitch this is becoming really difficult for him because the level of expectation is beyond a young guy who is still establishing himself internationally."

Jude Bellingham, 19, has started both of England's games so far, though was replaced by Jordan Henderson, 32, mid-way through the second half against USA.

There are suggestions Henderson's assured performance will earn him a start as Southgate seeks stability.

Another star who looks set to earn his first start is Kyle Walker, who was taken to Qatar with a slight injury.

Southgate has previously spoken of the need to build up Walker's fitness ahead of the latter stages of the tournament.

Do not expect many other changes, as Southgate has stressed he is not in the business of "giving caps out".

"In other camps throughout the year, we try to give people game time where we can, but when you're in a World Cup, you can't be thinking in that way unless you've already qualified and have a game with a different approach," he said.

"That's always a challenge and we [do] have 26 players.

"But we are at a major tournament, it's not about giving caps out. We want to go as far as we possibly can. Players support each other and some will be disappointed if they're not playing."

Who will play for Wales tonight in the world cup?

Wales captain Gareth Bale is hoping for an upset
Wales captain Gareth Bale is hoping for an upset. Picture: Getty

Wales have had a poor World Cup. Having drawn against USA in their opening game, England's neighbour went on to lose 2-0 to Iran, so it really is last chance saloon for Rob Page's men.

Page will have to do without his preferred goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey, who was sent off for an erratic last-ditch challenge against Iran. Danny Ward will most likely take his place.

Page has not spoken of any other injury concerns.

Any chance of Wales progressing will likely rest on star man and captain Gareth Bale, who rescued a point with a perfect penalty against USA in their opening game.

Bale, 33, said: “There have been a few shocks in the World Cup and there’s no reason why we can’t do the same.”

Staff set to leave work early

Pints in Qatar have cost fans £12
Pints in Qatar have cost fans £12. Picture: Getty

Businesses are bracing for staff members to leave work early so they can get home or to the pub in time for the 7pm kick-off.

It is understood hundreds of thousands of workers have booked today and tomorrow off work as the nation braces for a collective hangover.

Around 25 million pints are expected to be sunk by fans watching the game, as the World Cup has already boosted draught sales by 50 per cent, according to data from business management consultancy Oxford Partnership.

How to watch England Vs Wales game

The fixture will be aired on the BBC with coverage starting at 6pm before kick-off at 7pm.

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