Lakenheath Old Boys

We are all former students at Lakenheath High School and other public schools in East Anglia. We were in school in the 70s and 80s and drank deeply from the well of British culture of those decades - the pints, the telly, and of course the footie!

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Euro 2016 Preview - Group B: Wales

Carrying on with Group B, tonight's competitor is Wales!

Nickname: "The Dragons"

Absurd FIFA ranking: 24th

Coach: Chris "Cookie" Coleman

Match Schedule: 

June 11 - Wales v. Slovakia (Bordeaux, 12pm EST, ESPN)
June 16 - Wales v. England (Lens, 9am, ESPN)
June 20 - Wales v. Russia (Toulouse, 3pm, ESPN)

Prospects: 58 years have elapsed since the last time that Wales graced a major tournament - the 1958 World Cup in Sweden. So, you might think that Welsh fans would be satisfied by just being in France this summer. However, the side played enough stylish football in qualifiers, topping Group B ahead of heavily fancied Belgium, so expectations are unusually high for Cookie Coleman's side. While Real Madrid star Gareth Bale is the undoubted star, Wales have a decent back four anchored by Swansea center back Ashley Williams, and a busy midfield with Liverpool's Joe Allen and Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey. The draw has been favorable, pitting them against the weakest side first and setting up their match against England in the middle of the group stage. So, if they can beat Slovakia and then draw England, they're likely to qualify for the Round of 16.

Key Player: Of course, all eyes will be on Bale. As he goes, so does Welsh hopes.

Youngster to Watch: Spurs full-back Ben Davies is a useful foil for Aaron Ramsey up the right.

Who Will Get the Goals: Reading's Robson-Kanu might chip in with some vital goals. Just kidding - it's Bale again.

Who Will Get the Cards: West Ham clogger James Collins enjoys a good studs-up challenge.

Prediction: Wales should be safe in second place and might even pip England for top spot if their home nation rivals get a slow start against Russia. That will set up a Round of 16 match up against another second place side, possibly Hungary. Hosts France will be too much for them in the Quarters.

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