Wales v England Euro 2012 Qualifier Preview

By Paul Harper

Wales travel to Wembley Stadium on Tuesday evening full of confidence after a tremendous result on Friday as Gary Speed’s men defeated Montenegro 2-1 at the Cardiff City Stadium.

It was a much needed boost for the Welsh side after a disappointing run of results previous to that and a qualifying campaign that will again lead nowhere in that they will fail to qualify for another major championships.

Steve Morison opened his goalscoring account in a Wales shirt in the victory over the Montenegrans. He couldn’t have missed as he stabbed home from close range but it should boost his confidence on a personal level to know that he has scored a goal at international level.

The fact that he is playing in the Premier League now too, will also help the national side. The problem that Wales have had in the past was that too few of their team have been playing in the top flight. Now, they are improving on that number and with good youngsters like Aaron Ramsey and Gareth Bale coming to the fore, things appear to be picking up for Gary Speed’s side.

If they can build on that performance, then they will surely rise in the FIFA World rankings to avoid the humiliation of being lower ranked than the Faroe Islands.

Victory, however, did come at a cost to the Welsh. Bookings to Sunderland midfielder David Vaughan and striker Craig Bellamy, who re-joined Liverpool last week, mean they will miss the trip to face England, and Speed will be hard-pushed to replace two of his better players.

Fabio Capello’s men themselves enjoyed a good victory on Friday with a 3-0 win over Bulgaria. Goals from Gary Cahill and two from Wayne Rooney saw the Three Lions home in Sofia. They put in an assured performance with a very exciting and attacking line-up featuring Stewart Downing, Ashley Young, Theo Walcott along with Rooney.

They will be looking for a similar showing against Wales at Wembley and a repeat of the 2-0 scoreline from the reverse game in the Millenium Stadium would be very welcome.

With both sides having won on Friday, it sets up the Wembley clash nicely. Hopefully, both sides will play with confidence and it should be an interesting fixture. The added bonus of it being a local derby (if there is such a thing in international football) just gives it that extra spice.


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