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England v Wales :International Friendly : Massive PRE MATCH Supplement
Wednesday, 7th Oct 2020 12:32 by Keith Haynes

Latest Giggs press conference quotes, Roger Freestone speaks direct to us as Wales take on England at Wembley on Thursday October 8th , 2020, ko 8PM, in an International friendly. The game has crept up on supporters of both countries in lieu of more important qualifiers next week.

The two nations last met at Wembley Stadium back in September 2011, when a goal from Ashley Young was enough for the home side to claim a 1-0 win. However, it was back in May 1977 that Wales claimed their one and only victory at the Twin Towers as a penalty from Leighton James just before half-time separated the two teams. Those of us with longer memories, and of an older disposition will remember Leighton clinching the game for Wales, it was a memorable night.

The first-ever international match between the two countries was played back in January 1879 when England claimed a 2-1 victory at the Kennington Oval in London, while Wales recorded their first win in the fixture in February 1881 with John Vaughan scoring the only goal in a 1-0 victory at Blackburn.

It was probably during the seventies & eighties that matches between the two were foremost in supporters minds, the home internationals would take place at the end of the football season. These games were massive occasions for players and fans alike. Memorable indeed, Terry Yorath remembers the game at Wrexham in 1980 well as Wales triumphed 4-1 and Ron Greenwood's England were humiliated.

Can Wales repeat that famous victory ? Interestingly Yorath does not believe an England victory is a foregone conclusion, although he would happily settle for a 1-0 win for Wales this time. 'We had some very experienced players in our side; men like Joey Jones, Brian Flynn, Mickey Thomas and Leighton James. But what bound us together was our love of playing for Wales'


Wales 4 England 1 :Wrexham 1980 : Micky Thomas on the ball
Everyone following Wales would give a tenner for a repeat result on Thursday at Wembley

Team spirit as well is something that Swansea Independent columnist Roger Freestone recalls as something very special. Roger told the Swansea Independent 'I couldn't believe it when I made the Wales squads, all those games around the world, it was exciting, I was meeting with the very best players around back then' Roger also remembers the Brazil game at the Millennium Stadium in May 2000 ' yeah, I was so proud to play for my country against the most revered International side in the world. I was in the same side (squad) as Speedo and Ryan Giggs. He was there but didn't play and was very complimentary after the game regards my performance ' I had to keep myself in check as it was all just unbelievable. John Hartson was also in the squad and he as we all know is a huge Swans fan, as were many others in that squad so you just kept bumping in to all these legends'

Here is the side selected by Mark Hughes that night
1 Roger Freestone
2 Mark Delaney
3 Gareth Roberts
4 Roberts Page
5 Andy Melville
6 Matthew Jones
7 Robbie Savage
8 Dean Saunders
9 Iwan Roberts
10 Gary Speed
11 John Robinson

Subs
12 Kit Symons
14 Craig Bellamy
15 Darren Barnard
16 Andy Johnson
17 Carl Robinson
18 Rhys Weston
21 Mark Crossley


Roger Freestone, Swansea Independent columnist, Wales International

TEAM NEWS
Gareth Southgate has called-up Chelsea defender Reece James to his senior squad ahead of the friendly against Cymru.
However, Manchester City's Raheem Sterling has been ruled out of the squad through injury, while Tammy Abraham, Ben Chilwell and Jadon Sancho are yet to meet up with the squad as their attendance at a social event over the weekend remains under investigation.

England squad to face Wales
Tammy Abraham (Chelsea)*, Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Harvey Barnes (Leicester City), Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton), Ben Chilwell (Chelsea)*, Conor Coady (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), Joe Gomez (Liverpool), Jack Grealish (Aston Villa) Dean Henderson (Manchester United), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Danny Ings (Southampton), Reece James (Chelsea), Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur), Michael Keane (Everton), Harry Maguire (Manchester United), Ainsley Maitland-Niles (Arsenal), Tyrone Mings (Aston Villa), Mason Mount (Chelsea), Kalvin Phillips (Leeds United), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Burnley), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Declan Rice (West Ham United), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal) Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund)*, Kieran Trippier (Atletico Madrid), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), James Ward-Prowse (Southampton), Harry Winks (Tottenham Hotspur)

Asterixis * represents players refused access to the England training camp due to coronavirus breaches

WALES

Wales will be without Juventus midfielder Aaron Ramsey for the game with England but are hopeful he will be back for their Nations League games. Giggs said today "Aaron followed the covid protocol. We have gone along with that. But we expect him to be available for Saturday and Wednesday. We are just finalising when he can come over. It's probably going to be the Thursday."
"But we expect him to be available for Saturday and Wednesday. We are just finalising when he can come over. It's probably going to be the Thursday." Gareth Bale is also unavailable as is Joe Allen. Robson-Kanu is also out with a broken arm. Neco Williams, Daniel James and Harry Wilson missed training on Monday after joining the camp late, but the trio will be fit for the first England-Wales Wembley clash since 2011. Neco Williams was on the receiving end of online abuse after Liverpool's 7-2 defeat at Aston Villa but Ryan Giggs had little sympathy. "It's something you have to deal with when you are at big clubs," Giggs said."He's at Liverpool, when you are at a big club you are going to have to take criticism at some point if you set a certain standard and you drop below it. Even for 10 minutes." Ryan Giggs won 64 Wales caps between 1991 and 2007, clearly not aided by Manchester United manager, Alex Ferguson who enabled Giggs withdrawal from more games than he played at all levels. Giggs held a press conference this afternoon and stated "We've got three games in a short space of time, so there's a bit of juggling," says Giggs."It's always a big game when we play England but also we've got one eye on Sunday. It always captures the imagination, England v Wales, but my priority is the Nations League."We want to win," he said. "We have got great momentum going into the game and we want to keep that up. Also we realise it's a tough game. England have some quality players - they could pick two or three teams.'

Captaincy of Wales
Ryan Giggs says Ex Swansea City now Tottenham left-back Ben Davies may lead his team out at Wembley in the absence of Gareth Bale and Ashley Williams. "Ben is definitely one of the options who is in with a shout," Giggs said.

England v Wales is LIVE
TV channel: England vs Wales will be shown live on ITV, which is free to air in the UK.
Live stream: UK viewers can watch the match online via ITV Hub.

Photo: Action Images



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