Jermain Defoe has warned Gareth Bale to expect plenty of stick at Tottenham training next week if England beat Wales in Saturday’s European Championship qualifier.
Defoe revealed how Welsh star Bale has been dishing it out at Spurs’ Chigwell headquarters ahead of this weekend’s crunch Group G clash at the Millennium Stadium.
But it looks set to be returned with interest if the visitors take all three points in Cardiff, with Defoe one of several England players in the Tottenham squad.
“Gareth Bale’s been giving me a lot of banter, so I just hope that we win the game,” Defoe told Press Association Sport during a guided tour of a factory in Luton for Vauxhall, who are official partners of the England team.
“I look forward to going back into the club and giving the banter back.”
However, if Bale brings his scintillating form for Tottenham this season into Saturday’s game, it could be Defoe who endures another ear-bashing next week.
“He’s their biggest threat, to be honest,” the striker said.
“When he gets the ball, he’s direct and he can beat players. His pace is phenomenal, his power.
“Even from set-pieces as well, he’s got a great left foot.
“He’s fresh because he’s just come back from injury.”
If Defoe thinks the stick he has been getting from Bale is bad, it is likely to be nothing compared to that of more than 70,000 baying Wales fans on Saturday.
The Welsh love nothing more than beating the English in sporting competition.
“They’re massive games, they’re international derbies,” said Defoe, who had a taste of the kind of reception England can expect in a cup tie against Cardiff.
“I remember the atmosphere being mad and the stadium was rocking. I really enjoyed that.”
Defoe appears set to experience Saturday’s atmosphere from the bench, with Andy Carroll favourite to partner Wayne Rooney up front.
Despite bracing himself for another setback, Defoe refused to be discouraged at the prospect of losing out to Carroll.
“It makes you more hungry,” said Defoe, who looked to have forged a dynamic partnership with Rooney in September’s thrashing of Bulgaria before injury struck.
“Under Fabio Capello, my goalscoring record’s been good.
“I’ve been given the opportunity and I’ve scored goals - and the manager knows that.
“I think he knows now what I can do and it’s a case of just waiting for my opportunity again.
“If I don’t play at the weekend and I’m on the bench, I’ll be focused to try to come on and make an impact.”