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World Cup 2022: England and Wales prepare for crunch Group B clash

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ngland and Wales are preparing for a crunch clash against each other in the final World Cup Group B match on Tuesday.

Wales faces the daunting task of beating England in order to progress, as well as hoping the other result goes their way.

Gareth Southgate’s side will be hoping to qualify for the final sixteen as group winners after the game which kicks off at 7pm and improve on a lacklustre draw against the USA last Friday.

England are extremely likely to qualify – as long as they avoid a four-goal defeat by Wales.

Alongside needing to beat England, Wales will also be hoping that the USA draws with Iran for their best chance to progress to the final sixteen.

Wales captain Gareth Bale said his side was up to the task, despite currently languishing at the bottom of the group without a win and only with one goal.

Wales fans show their support prior to the FIFA World Cup Group B match at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium

/ PA Wire

Speaking to the Guardian, he said: “We are trying to keep our spirits high. We have to remember we are at a World Cup, for the first time in a long time.

“We would rather be at a World Cup maybe not doing amazingly well than sat at home on the sofa not doing anything. We are happy to be here and we are going to give everything we can to try to qualify.”

Meanwhile, England manager Gareth Southgate appeared to rule out any wholesale changes to his squad for the clash.

“We have to balance freshness with stability and that’s always a decision you’re making when picking a team,” he said.

“We have a chance to win the group with a positive result. There’s a lot resting on the game for both teams. Our performance is the key.”

Whoever wins the group will play their second knock-out game on Sunday December 4, at 7pm GMT, while the group runner-up will play at 3pm GMT on Saturday, December 3.

Among the teams already guaranteed a place in the final sixteen are France and Brazil.

Away from the pitch, sports minister Stuart Andrew vowed Monday to wear the rainbow-coloured armband prohibited by Fifa when he attends the game between England and Wales.

The Tory frontbencher, who is gay, said it was “really unfair” that football’s governing body prevented the captains of England and Wales donning the OneLove anti-discrimination armband at the 11th hour.

He told ITV News: “I will most definitely be wearing the OneLove armband.

“I want to show support and I was delighted to see that the German minister who attended a recent match has worn it, I think it is important that I do so.

“And I think it’s been really unfair on the England and Welsh team that at the 11th hour they were stopped by Fifa from doing it.”

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