Eng­land mid­fielder ex­pects a tough test against Wales

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Eric Dier be­lieves Wales will be des­per­ate to get one over on “the en­emy” and harm Eng­land’s Euro 2016 hopes when the two sides meet on Thurs­day in Lens.

Chris Cole­man’s men top Group B af­ter mark­ing their first Euro­pean Cham­pi­onship match with an impressive 2-1 win against Slo­vakia.

While Wales started their cam­paign in style, Eng­land failed to turn their dom­i­nance of Rus­sia into goals and were made to pay the price when Vasili Berezut­ski sal­vaged a late draw.

That re­sult in­creased the pres­sure on Eng­land as did the com­ments of Wales star Gareth Bale who said that “the en­emy” were lack­ing pas­sion and pride.

And Dier, who scored the opener against Rus­sia, ex­pects a fiercely con­tested game against the Welsh. “Ob­vi­ously there’s a lot to it,” he said. “I think as well it might be a bit less of an in­ter­na­tional game and a bit more of an English game, es­pe­cially with the play­ers. “It might be a bit dif­fer­ent to all the oth­ers games you’ve seen in the tour­na­ment, so I think that’s good for the spec­ta­tors that well. “Ob­vi­ously it’s a mas­sive game for them and for us, for many dif­fer­ent rea­sons. Ev­ery­one is go­ing to look for­ward to it. “I think the un­der­dogs are al­ways up for it, al­ways want­ing to prove a point and that makes it even harder for the favourites. “If we are the favourite, we need to be even more well-pre­pared and more ready for it be­cause they’ll be des­per­ate to do their best ob­vi­ously af­ter the re­sult they had as well.”

De­spite the dis­ap­point­ment of the draw with Rus­sia, Dier stressed that the Eng­land play­ers have taken plenty of pos­i­tives from the dis­play in Mar­seille.

“I don’t think there’s any rea­son to get neg­a­tive about it,” added the de­fen­sive mid­fielder. “Ob­vi­ously we’re dis­ap­pointed that we con­ceded a late goal, but apart from that I thought it was def­i­nitely the best Eng­land per­for­mance I’ve played in.

“I’ve not played in many but I thought it was fantastic. That’s the feel­ing I got from the re­sponse from the fans when the game was go­ing on.

“I think there are so many pos­i­tives to take. I don’t think we should be putting our­selves down and we are go­ing to look for­ward to the next game.”

Eng­land play Wales on Thurs­day with kick off at 5pm UAE time.

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