EURO 2016: Five Wales weaknesses England should exploit

As the clock ticked toward the final whistle in Marseille on Saturday and England looking to claim a victory in their first game of the tournament, Russia somehow grabbed an equaliser to the despair of the Three Lions fans and the jubilation of Wales’ travelling support.

Chris Coleman’s men now sit atop Group B after one round of fixtures, and a win against England would see them all but guaranteed a spot in the knockout stages of the tournament.

Meanwhile, England will know that this is a must win game for them. A defeat would see them heading into the final group game against Slovakia needing a victory for a chance of progression.

With little time to go before the two teams come face to face in Lens, we take a look at FIVE Welsh weaknesses that England could look to exploit…

Wing superiority

sterling

In their first group game against Slovakia, Wales played a 5-3-2 formation with wing-backs utilising space out wide. However, this often left the team narrow when defending, especially when hit on the counter attack.

England should make use of their excellent full backs and quick wide men to exploit the space on both wings. Danny Rose and Raheem Sterling could double up on Chris Gunter in attacking situations, leaving plenty of room for an overlap and, hopefully for England, creating plenty of chances.

Bale reliance

bale

Wales’ ‘Golden Boy’ is by far the biggest threat to England in Lens. Gareth Bale can create a chance out of anything and will look to use his frightening pace to pressure Gary Cahill and Chris Smalling.

While man marking may not be the best option to stop Bale playing, Eric Dier should be tasked with keeping a close eye on the Real Madrid star.

If Dier can play as well he did against Russia, Bale may be limited to few chances.

Inexperienced goalkeeper

ward

Despite only conceding one goal in their first game of the tournament, Wales’ ‘keeper Danny Ward looked slightly unsteady and should really have been tested more by Slovakia.

Bombard the young Liverpool man with plenty of crosses to deal with and powerful shots to save, and it will be a real test for a player who has had very little experience of elite football.

Lack of pace

vardy

Excluding Harry Kane, this England attacking group is blessed with incredible pace. The likes of Delli Alli, Raheem Stirling, Kyle Walker, Danny Rose and Jamie Vardy are all extremely quick players.

This speed could potentially be a real handful for Wales, whose back line aren’t the most agile or swift. The pace of the England team could also help when dealing with Gareth Bale, who would likely lose out in a foot race to one or two of the Three Lions stars.

Lack of experience on the biggest stage

wales2

Wayne Rooney, Adam Lallana, Gary Cahill, Chris Smalling, Joe Hart and even Raheem Sterling have all had experience of international competition before. While many of the first team are still young, there is more than enough experience within the squad to handle the pressure of a game of this magnitude.

Wales on the other hand, are competing in their first major international tournament in a number of decades. England must use this experience to their benefit and take advantage of any nerves within the Wales team.

 


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