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England vs. Wales — Adam Lallana and Joe Allen anticipating huge match at Euro 2016

Liverpool’s English and Welsh contingent come head to head in Lens on Thursday afternoon at Euro 2016 with more than just pride at stake.

Group B is wide open, and with Slovakia’s 2-1 victory over Russia on Wednesday afternoon, this is a huge game for both England and Wales.

England go searching for their first victory of the tournament, having been held 1-1 by Russia in Marseille on Saturday, while Wales will be hoping to reproduce some of the passionate football that saw them beat Slovakia 2-1 in Bordeaux.

Out of Liverpool’s England internationals, only Adam Lallana started the draw against Russia, with James Milner making a late brief appearance from the bench. Nathaniel Clyne, Jordan Henderson and Daniel Sturridge will all be hoping to play some part against the Welsh.

International Football - UEFA Euro 2016 France - Wales Training

As for Wales, Joe Allen will start in the heart of midfield, while Danny Ward could have to return to the bench if Wayne Hennessey has recovered from the back problem that forced him out of their opening game.

This will be the 102nd time England and Wales have faced each other, but only the first in a major international tournament.

Match Odds

Despite Wales topping Group B going into the game, England are clear favourites at 11/20. The draw is priced at 59/20, while a Wales win is very good value at 6/1.

Sturridge is hotly tipped to play a role in this game and is 6/4 to score anytime, whilst Lallana, who may well start, is 8/1 to be the game’s first goalscorer.

Joe Allen — often Liverpool’s cult hero — could turn Wales’ unlikely hero. The 26-year-old is 25/1 to score first.

A win for England would see them top Group B with one round of group stage fixtures left to play, and Lallana is not underestimating the importance of this all-British tie.

“People might say it is a must-win game,” he told reporters. “We will be looking for a win against Wales, that’s for sure.

“It is a pivotal game in the group. We know we need a good result. But we have big players in our team who are used to dealing with pressure. We thrive on that.

“The Russia match is definitely out of our system. You get over the disappointment quickly and take the positives from the game – we had plenty of them.

“The belief in the camp is huge. You could see our intent and focus right from the start the other night. But we do have to be more ruthless and sharpen up a couple of things.”

Meanwhile Allen believes the pressure is off Wales as he looks to scalp his English Liverpool teammates.

International Football - UEFA Euro 2016 France - Wales Training

“We’re going in as underdogs,” he said. “For us there really is nothing to lose. It’s our first major tournament since 1958 and we’ve certainly not got any weight on our shoulders. That will help us.”

England vs. Wales gets underway at 2pm (UK) and is live on BBC One.

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