England are set to take on Wales in what will be their final group game of this year’s Qatar World Cup.
The Three Lions, led by manager Gareth Southgate, are looking to top Group B after already recording a win against Iran and a draw against the USA.
Wales, on the other hand, need a footballing miracle if they’re to reach the prestigious tournament’s knockout phase.
Needing to not only win by four goals, Wales must also keep everything crossed that Iran’s game against the USA ends in a draw.
However, with Wales as good as out, a lot of the focus will be on whether or not Southgate’s Three Lions can go on to top Group B, which would set up a knockout tie against Senegal, who finished as Group A runners-up just behind the Netherlands.
3 – #Senegal ?? are only the third African team to reach the World Cup knockout phase in at least two different editions, after Nigeria ?? (1994, 1998 and 2014) and Ghana ?? (2006 and 2010). Lions.#FIFAWorldCup #ECUSEN #Qatar2022 pic.twitter.com/1HkwF0bEeW
— OptaPaolo ? (@OptaPaolo) November 29, 2022
In light of England’s confirmed starting lineup, which will see a handful of changes, including Jordan Henderson and Kyle Walker coming in for Bukayo Saka and Kieran Trippier, respectively, former Liverpool star Stan Collymore believes Southgate’s team selection suggests he already has one eye on the competition’s latter stages.
“I think Gareth Southgate really wanted to give Kyle Walker minutes tonight because I think if we do go deeper into the tournament, he may well go to three at the back and put Walker alongside Maguire and Stones and then have Shaw and Trippier as the wing-backs,” Collymore said in an exclusive interview.
Interestingly, regarding Henderson’s surprise inclusion, Collymore thinks the Liverpool skipper has the potential to wrestle a starting spot away from either Rice or Bellingham.
“As for Jordan Henderson,” Collymore added.
“I do wonder if he’s played his way into his manager’s plans. Obviously, Rice and Bellingham are the future, but Southgate is a pragmatist, so as long as Henderson can do the mileage, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see him play a more prominent role as the tournament goes on.”
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