England will face neighbors Wales in their final group-stage match of the 2022 FIFA World Cup today. Having won one and drawn one of their first two games, they will be keen to maintain their unbeaten run.
The Three Lions have all but confirmed their place in the Round of 16 of the FIFA World Cup, but a win today would see them qualify as group winners. Meanwhile, they would have to lose by four goals or more to crash out of the tournament.
Gareth Southgate has thus made a host of changes to the team that drew 0-0 with the USA in his team’s previous match. There are precisely four changes in England’s starting line-up to face Wales.
Kyle Walker has replaced Kieran Trippier at right-back, but Trent Alexander-Arnold remains on the bench. Bukayo Saka and Raheem Sterling have been dropped in favor of Phil Foden and Marcus Rashford.
Henderson has also come into the Three Lions’ first XI, with Mason Mount losing his place. After making a substitute appearance against the Yanks, the Liverpool captain has been handed his first start of the World Cup against Rob Page’s side.
Southgate is confident that his preferred starting line-up will get the job done against Wales today. However, many fans are not on board with his decision to start Henderson, especially with Kalvin Phillips available. One fan wrote on Twitter:
“Bloody Henderson. Absolute garbage.”
Another frustrated supporter tweeted:
“Henderson starting? If you’re watching this game, make your bed cause you’re gonna have a nice sleep.”
Here are some more reactions to Southgate’s decision to start Henderson against Wales:
It now remains to be seen if Henderson can prove his doubters wrong by helping England beat Wales today.
How are Wales lining up against England in the FIFA World Cup?
While England have more or less confirmed their place in the Round of 16, Wales sit at the bottom of the group table. They have just one point to their name, having drawn one and lost one of their two matches.
Page’s men have to beat Southgate and Co. and hope for a draw between Iran and the USA to qualify for the knockout stages of the FIFA World Cup. With the hopes of causing a miracle, the manager has made three changes to the team that lost to Iran.
Wales have seemingly shifted to a four-man defense, with Connor Roberts dropping to the bench. Former Liverpool midfielder Joe Allen has come in for him and will start alongside Aaron Ramsey and Ethan Ampady in the midfield.
Wayne Hennessey is unavailable due to suspension, which means Danny Ward will take his place in goal. Meanwhile, Daniel James has taken Harry Wilson’s place in the team.
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