Euro 2016 betting: England to put Welsh dragons to the sword

 
Ben Cleminson
England v Russia - Group B: UEFA Euro 2016
Eric Dier opened the scoring for England against Russia (Source: Getty)

Euro 2016’s Battle of Britain is almost upon us as England take on Wales in Lens on Thursday afternoon.

Sporting rivalry between the two neighbours is usually confined to the rugby field, but it’s with a round ball rather than an oval that the two meet at 2:00pm.

Bigger brother England are favourites – yet, as Wales showed at Twickenham during last year’s Rugby World Cup, that doesn’t always count for much.

Should they take the scalp of their bitterest rivals, Gareth Bale and team-mates will never have to worry about buying their own drink in Cardiff again.

The Dragons marked their first major tournament appearance since 1958 with a fine 2-1 victory in their opener against Slovakia on Saturday.

Though it was Bale who scored an exquisite free-kick, the Welsh showed they are more than just a one-man team.

Substitute Hal Robson-Kanu’s winner may have been scrappy, but it was well deserved after a cohesive and organised team performance from Chris Coleman’s side.

Roy Hodgson’s England were minutes away from a first-match victory of their own against Russia, having played with great energy and posed a real goal threat throughout.

The biggest surprise, other than the goal coming from an Eric Dier free-kick, was that it took them until the 73rd minute to score.

While Vasili Berezutski’s late sucker-punch cost two points, England shouldn’t be disheartened by what was an impressive performance.

A win against Wales would put them back in pole position in this group, and I like the 8/15 with Betway that they will do it.

Harry Kane had a rare off day against Russia, but he remains a class act – even if Hodgson continues to appoint him to take corners.

With Wayne Rooney back to his best, England seem a team full of goals, and it’s unlikely a half-fit Wayne Hennessey in goal for Wales will have as good a game as Igor Akinfeev had on Saturday.

England’s defence still looks shaky however, and given even a half-chance, Bale could punish them.

It is 11/10 with Betway for both teams to score, which I’ll be backing.

Whatever happens, I’m hoping this will be a memorable match that lives up to its billing.

I will be buying total goals at 2.7 with Sporting Index.

Pointers

England 8/15 (Betway)

Both teams to score 11/10 (Betway)

Buy total goals 2.7 (Sporting Index)

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