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England vs Wales Euro 2012 Qualifier: Preview

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Euro 2012 Qualifying Group G, England v. Wales, Wembley Stadium, ITV1/Fox Soccer (19:45 BST/2:45 EST/11:45 PST)

Today, the Welsh can either win at Wembley or wait for 2014 World Cup Qualifying to play their next meaningful game. Gary Speed’s changes did England a favour with their 2-1 win over Montenegro in Cardiff on Friday but can cancel plans for Poland and Ukraine with a loss.

History is not with the Welsh, as their last win away to England came when Rod Stewart’s “First Cut is the Deepest” ruled the airwaves in 1977. But the faithful, if they can be distracted from preparing for the Rugby World Cup, will be encouraged by their side’s gutty performance three days ago. Goals came from Steve Morison and captain Aaron Ramsey while Gareth Bale looked like the menace who dispatched a taxi for Maicon last fall.

Meanwhile, new-look England ran rampant in their second successive slaughter of Bulgaria. England’s midfield, minus Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard, was impressive. Among the many highlights were Theo Walcott, Ashley Young and Wayne Rooney teaming up to create a smooth goal. England’s starters on Friday bore little resemblance to the team that strode out to battle Germany in Bloemfontein last June, with only Ashley Cole, John Terry, Gareth Barry and Wayne Rooney starting both games.

England’s grip on top spot in Group G looks tight, but Fabio Capello will need fixtures like today’s to begin forming the new group he will lead next summer. Welsh eyes may be turned toward New Zealand, but Gary Speed needs good performances to instill confidence in a talented but underachieving side.

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13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. Dave C

    September 6, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    Not a fan of the new look website layout. No avatars? And what are
    the numbers “1” and “2” next to everyone’s names? And all this
    bright white hurts my eyes! As for the game itself, I’m glad
    Fab-Cap has finally found the guts to play without Lampard or
    Gerrard (albeit the latter was out of necessity rather than choice,
    but hopefully Gerrard won’t walk straight back into the team when
    he’s fit again). That said, I’m not really a fan of Parker by a
    long shot. He’s a decent “try-hard” player who brings the classic
    English trait of “passion” etc, but he doesn’t really have much in
    terms of ability. And at 30, it’s not like he’s one for the future.

    • The Gaffer

      September 7, 2011 at 7:19 am

      Hi Dave, thanks for the feedback. We’re making iterative changes, so you’ll notice some improvements made over the next few weeks. For example, the avatars are back and the numbers are gone next to everyone’s names. We’ll be making more changes over the next few weeks, but keep the feedback coming everyone.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

  2. Trickybrkn

    September 6, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    You thought Walcott was a factor V Bulgaria? I thought just the
    opposite. He seems out of touch with the flow, never burned up the
    flanks, and seemed to have left his shooting boots at home. This
    may have been because Smalling was in at right back, and doesn’t
    give the same sort of support Cole does… also Walcott plays best
    as a striker. Parker has been huge for England. He follows
    Capello’s strict sit back and support role to a T. Lampard and
    Gerrard’s every instinct tells them to get up the field. Parker is
    now the bedrock of the England midfield. As for Wales v England…
    I’m not expecting a 19-9 result. in fact I think by match end Are
    You Scotland in disguise will ring out at Wembley. I’m going with
    England 4 The Wales nil. and if Darcy is in again… 5 nil.

  3. Andyb

    September 6, 2011 at 10:47 am

    Terrible article. The rugby references are just completely stupid.
    EPL talk as good as ever.

    • The Gaffer

      September 6, 2011 at 11:08 am

      Thanks Andy for your feedback. The rugby references I thought were appropriate since the sport is much bigger than soccer in Wales.

      If you’d like to post an article for EPL Talk, take a look at http://epltalk.com/get-published

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

      • Andyb

        September 6, 2011 at 11:58 am

        Rugby isn’t much bigger than soccer in Wales at all, I’d say soccer
        is bigger than rugby and I should know cause I’m Welsh. You only
        have to look at club rugby attendances, and it wasn’t long ago we
        were the best supported country in European football and we soon
        will be again. 🙂 I still think the rugby references are stupid.

        • Trickybrkn

          September 6, 2011 at 12:02 pm

          another case of Welsh on Welsh violence…

          • The Gaffer

            September 6, 2011 at 12:10 pm

            LOL!

            Cheers,
            The Gaffer

          • GrumpyEnglishman

            September 6, 2011 at 1:54 pm

            “It wasn’t long ago we were the best supported country in European
            football” What? How did you arrive at this conclusion?

        • The Gaffer

          September 6, 2011 at 12:12 pm

          Andy, I’m Welsh too.

          The attendance for Wales’s match against Montenegro on Friday was only 17,500. We both know that rugby is a bigger sport in Wales than soccer. It always has been, and probably always will.

          Cheers,
          The Gaffer

          • Andyb

            September 6, 2011 at 12:40 pm

            You’ve been away too long. If you still lived in Wales you’d know
            football’s the number 1 sport :)!!!!

    • canyid

      September 6, 2011 at 11:21 am

      Make sure you keep coming back to a site with articles you feel are
      consistently sub-par. It just makes sense.

      • Andyb

        September 6, 2011 at 12:01 pm

        I’ll make more of an effort not to come back. 🙂

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