“Who will win Euro 2016?” may be a little presumptuous to ask your preferred search engine this early into the tournament; instead, “Who will win England vs. Wales?” may be a more appropriate search topic. That’s because the two teams will be squaring off later this week in both teams’ second match of their group and the main tournament. When it comes to Euro 2016 predictions, both teams could be strong contenders to finally dethrone defending champion Spain and win this year’s championship. To learn why, read on for our England vs. Wales predictions.
The match between England and Wales is currently scheduled to happen on Thursday, June 16, taking place five days after both teams played games on June 11. The match is to be played at the Stade Bollaert-Delelis in Lens, located in the northern part of France. For those unaware, France is hosting this year’s tournament, with 10 stadiums in major cities across the country being used to hold the games.
Euro 2016 Standings
England’s first opponent in the Euro 2016 tournament was Russia, with neither team being able to overcome the other, leading to the game ending in a 1-1 tie. England had originally taken the lead off a free-kick courtesy of player Eric Dier, who was the story of the match thanks to his strong play. However, Russia would come back to tie the game in added time, creating a stalemate that neither club was able to break.
As for Wales, they proved more successful against Slovakia than England did with Russia, winning 2-1. Gareth Bale opened the scoring for Wales, though Slovakia’s Duda would tie the game in the second half, somewhat mirroring England/Russia. However, late into the game, Robson-Kanu would give Wales the lead and, ultimately, the win.
According to the Euro 2016 standings, Wales and England are the two teams from Group B that are currently set to advance to the “knockout phase,” the part of the competition that will use traditional brackets and elimination rules. The other two teams in Group B are their previous opponents: Russia and Slovakia. While Wales is in a stable position thanks to the three points from their win, England’s progression is in far more flux, given a tie only provides one point. However, both teams could still face elimination, particularly depending on how Russia fares against Slovakia on Thursday and Wales on Monday, June 20,
England vs. Wales Predictions
Needless to say, both teams are taking this game seriously. In an English paper, Dier said that he believes that the match with Wales will be “a bit less like an international game and a bit more of an English game, especially with the players involved,” and that it’ll be “a bit different to all the other games [we’ve] seen in the tournament.”
Looking at the records, it would seem as if an England victory is almost a given. After 80 prior encounters, England holds a 66-14 record against Wales, with the latter’s most recent win being not recent at all—it was back in 1984. However, Wales’ stronger start could have helped build the team some momentum, leading to England making mistakes out of desperation. There is also the factor of Wales’s goalkeeper, Wayne Hennessey, who missed the Slovakia game due to a back spasm but still has a chance to be cleared to play on Thursday.
Also a potential factor on player mindset is recent security concerns following clashes between English and Russian fans following the six English supporters arrested and Russia receiving a suspended disqualification. Fans without tickets have been advised to stay away from the stadiums, and it’s possible that, even with added security in place, concerns about their own safety and that of the fans in attendance could have the players on edge and distracted from playing their best possible game.