England and Wales have a little bit of a rivalry.
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Ahead of the huge Group B clash in Lens on Thursday between England and Wales, Gareth Bale has already been fueling the fire as he claimed that Wales’ players have more passion than England.
Jack Wilshere, 24, has fired back, as the Arsenal midfielder showed there’s no love lost between the two nations who share a border.
Here’s what he had to say from England’s training base.
“We know that Wales don’t like us. Do we like them? Not really! We know it is going to be a tough game and there are going to be tackles. It is going to be like a Premier League game,” Wilshere said. “It gives us a chance to show the nation we have got a lot of passion. We are here to win and we are here for business. If we go out there and put in a good performance and win the game we are in a great position.”
With Wales sitting top of Group B on three points and England second on one point after they were denied victory late on against Russia, this really a massive game in terms of deciding who will make it out of the group.
[ MORE: Russia handed suspended disqualification ]
One note: while Bale and Wilshere are saying mostly the right things to ramp up the rivalry, with violent outbreaks in Marseille ahead of, during and after England’s draw with Russia, UEFA has threatened England with disqualification if any more trouble breaks out in France this summer.
The fans will be fired up but with special British police forces and over 2,400 extra security personnel drafted in to try and calm things down. Tensions will still be running high in the 41,000 capacity stadium in Lens. Up to 50,000 fans from England and Wales are expected to descended on the city in northern France despite constant pleas from authorities for supporters to stay away if they don’t have tickets.
This is a huge game. Let the Battle of Britain commence.