With the upcoming Euro 2016 fixture between these two sides, TBR take a look at the two squads that have been taken to the tournament in France and put together our ideal starting XI with players from both nations. This side would play a 4-5-1 defensive formation, switching to a 4-3-3 whilst attacking, because we love goals here at The Boot Room.
Goalkeeper: Joe Hart
A fairly easy pick to start us off, Joe Hart is an incredible goalkeeper and has been playing at the top level for a long time. His all-round play is strong and he is a good leader and loud voice at the back to help keep the Anglo-Welsh defence organised. If we go to penalties though, we’re doing a van Gaal and replacing Hart with Forster, because Hart doesn’t save penalties…
Left-back: Ben Davies
Unlike in goal, left-back is not a position that picks itself. Danny Rose started for England against Russia, but I prefer his club-mate Ben Davies to start. Davies offers more defensively than Rose and is a bit more reliable, and so he gets the nod to help the team keep it tight at first. Rose can come on later to help the team press for a late, late winner.
Centre backs: Ashley Williams, Chris Smalling
England’s problem is in the centre back area, and one of Wales’ strengths is centre back, so I have picked the best of both worlds here. Chris Smalling is, on current form, England’s best centre back. He is strong, tall and has great technique, but he can be prone to a few errors and is a far cry from being a leader as previous English defenders have been in the past.
Therefore, step forward Ashley Williams. He is Wales’ captain ahead of Gareth Bale, and this tells you all you need to know. A vastly experienced defender at Premier League and international level and a stand out performer for both club and country, Williams would bring calm and confidence to this combined XI, and would certainly be captain. He has the ability to cover for Smalling’s deficiencies, and would keep the back line well organised.
Right-back: Kyle Walker
Another position that doesn’t have anyone in particular nailing down a position, but for me Kyle Walker edges his way into the starting XI. Excellent going forward, he can offer an extra outlet out wide and whip a few balls into the box. He is also solid in defence and is quick, meaning he can get back into position quickly after one of his rampaging runs.