As they look to make it through in unlikely fashion, Wales take on England on Tuesday night (7pm). Will Gareth Southgate’s men get the expected result and progress in top spot? Or will there be an upset at Ahmad bin Ali Stadium in Al Rayyan?
Prior to the World Cup there were serious doubts over England’s ability to get on the front foot and hurt teams. Their attack had look laboured and lacking in ideas during the Nations League, in which they failed to win a single game from six attempts. However, first time out in Qatar, against the Iranians, Southgate’s men impressed, especially in the final third. People may have got ahead of themselves following that victory, though, myself included.
The general feeling ahead of the USA game was that England had the offense to do some real damage. After all, they were coming off the back of a 6-2 victory. However, it was back to the old ways for the Three Lions, who opted for the cautious approach. Over the course of the contest, the men in white offered very little going forward. The few chances that they did create were met with a severe lack of end-product. There is now once again a question over whether they have what it takes to produce the final-third moments that will see them win this game. England’s odds with the bookmakers to win the World Cup have drifted to 10/1. Is that still too short?
The Welsh also have problems of an offensive kind. They huffed and puffed against the USA and just about got a draw thanks to being awarded a penalty late on, while it was a similar story against Iran last time out. Keiffer Moore missed a decent chance early on, while Ben Davies also came close in the second half, but in general, Wales looked lacking in offensive ideas. They created far less than their opponents, while the end-product just was not there, as was the case on match-day one.
A lack of end-product and goalscoring prowess is a huge problem for the Welsh, as they come into this game needing not only a win but a high-scoring one. On recent evidence, it is incredibly difficult to see where the goals are going to come from. Defend stoutly they often do, and in different circumstances, you would fancy Rob Page’s men to frustrate and maybe dig deep for a point, but is it easy to envisage them getting the win they need? Absolutely not.
What should we expect from this game?
Predicting what is likely to happen at Ahmad bin Ali Stadium is probably foolish. After all, the English have delivered two contrasting performances, so who knows what will happen here.
One thing we do know is that when push comes to shove, Gareth Southgate’s favours his team being sturdy and pragmatic over being stylish and flamboyant, there is no getting away from that fact. In each of the last two tournaments, the England boss has wanted his team to get the job done in the safest way possible, and that may mean a low-key display from the Three Lions on Tuesday evening.
We all know that they have the tools to do some real damage. We have already seen that at this World Cup tournament. With Wales needing to attack, things could become more open, but it is just difficult to ignore the fact that this is a team that seemingly wants to get the job done in plodding fashion. The pragmatic approach was there for all to see against Team USA, and a similar outlook from the English seems likely.
Wales vs England World Cup match: Where is the bet?
At the current odds, ‘England to Win & Under 3.5 Goals’ appeals. At the end of the day, Wales need to force the issue here, but they will not want to go gung-ho straight away and leave themselves open. The England players are expected to be happy to keep things steady, so a tentative start seems likely.
What is more, even if Wales did decide to go for it, they have simply not got enough about them in that final third to score the number of goals required. Similarly, England know that if they can sit tight, keep things compact, which in fairness, they did reasonably well against the USA, then there will be opportunities on the break, especially as the Welsh get more desperate.
A game-management display from Southgate’s England is expected, one that should see them win by a goal or two. Ultimately, a low-scoring affair looks on the cards, and bettors can profit by betting on the English to win without going crazy.
An additional play is ‘England to Keep a Clean Sheet’. If England get this one right, then you would have to fancy them to shut out a Wales attack that simply does not pack a punch. After all, both teams have scored in just two of England’s last six, as well as in only three of their last nine. If we go back to last summer’s European Championship’s, they also kept a clean sheet in each of their first five there, so don’t be surprised if it’s a another shutout from Southgate’s men, especially when the Welsh have scored no goals at all from open play in their last three.
So these are our Wales vs England betting tips for this World Cup game preview:
- England to Win & Under 3.5 Goals @ evens with BetVictor.
- England to Keep a Clean Sheet @ 10/11 with Betfred.
Bradley Gibbs is an experienced football writer. He is an expert analyst on Premier League, and all global football leagues & tournaments, for Just Bookies. Bradley has been published by many respected outlets, including USA Betting and the Racing & Football Outlook. He has also written betting strategy guides.