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England v Wales: Bale gears up for a fiesty 'battle of Britain'

By Phil Blanche

Published 13/06/2016

Goal machine: Gareth Bale is eight strikes away from top scorer Ian Rush
Goal machine: Gareth Bale is eight strikes away from top scorer Ian Rush

Gareth Bale is expecting a "feisty" affair with England when Wales seek to secure qualification for the knock-out stage of Euro 2016.

Wales' opening 2-1 victory over Slovakia in Bordeaux on Saturday has given them a great chance to progress into the last 16 of their first major tournament for 58 years.

And with Group B rivals England held 1-1 by Russia in Marseille, the pressure is really on Roy Hodgson's Three Lions to win the 'Battle of Britain' in Lens on Thursday. "We understand it's going to be a derby," said Bale, who said before the weekend that England could not match Wales for pride and passion.

"It's going to be feisty. But we'll prepare well. "We'll be preparing for the next four days for the next game, and no matter who it is we're trying to win.

"We're concentrating on ourselves and nobody else - and we'll be ready for the game."

Real Madrid forward Bale set Wales on their way in Bordeaux with a trademark free-kick, his 20th goal for his country after scoring seven times in qualification. It put Bale on his own in fifth place on the all-time Wales list, and within eight of equalling record goalscorer Ian Rush.

"Obviously on a personal level it's great to get the goal, but it really doesn't matter who scores - we just want the points," said Bale.

"We want the wins and we want to go as far as we can in this tournament."

Bale said winning their first game of the tournament was vital to Wales' campaign.

"We weren't concentrating on anything else than Slovakia," Bale said. "We have just worked hard as a team, we ran until we couldn't run any more."

Belfast Telegraph

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