Blackpool great James backs Wales in Battle of Britain

Glyn James
Glyn James
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Seasiders hall-of-famer Glyn James is backing Wales to damage England’s Euro 2016 hopes in tomorrow’s Battle of Britain.

James, who won nine caps for Wales as a central defender, is optimistic over the outcome of the Group B clash in Lens and believes Chris Coleman’s men will progress in France.

James, who made 444 appearances for Blackpool, his only Football League club from 1959 to 1974, says a point tomorrow could be good enough to ensure Welsh qualification after their win over Slovakia.

Asked for a prediction on the long-awaited clash between the Welsh Dragons and the Three Lions, 74-year-old James told The Gazette: “My heart says 1-0 to Wales – my head says a draw.

“It will be hard for Wales.England created chances in their draw with Russia but didn’t take them.

“If Wales can hit England on the break, then Gareth Bale’s pace can trouble them. And maybe they can get at England’s defence in the air.

“Wales may only be a small country but they do have a tremendous spirit. It was like that in the Welsh team that I played in. To play for your country is the best you can ask for at a footballer.

“We have always had the knack of producing good players, like Mark Hughes, Ian Rush and Ryan Giggs. Now we have Bale, who is a class act. He can score at free-kicks as he showed against Slovakia, even though that was not his best strike.

“England should have beaten Russia, who didn’t look anything special for such a big country. They created nothing until that late goal.”

James’ most high-profile appearances for the principality were in 1966 away to Brazil, who were preparing to defend the World Cup in England.

Brazil won both games – 3-1 in a packed Maracana Stadium and 1-0 in Belo Horizonte.

James’ one appearance for Wales against England, ended in a 0-0 draw – and he would settle for that outcome tomorrow.

Former Blackpool and England player Trevor Sinclair is tipping an England victory ... if they keep their emotions in check and trust their attacking instincts.

The BBC pundit told The Gazette: “England just needed to be a little bit more clinical against Russia to get that second goal.

“We could have made changes earlier and more attacking changes. The substitutions were defensive and that just encourages the opposition to throw men forward.

“I thought Roy Hodgson should have brought Daniel Sturridge or Jamie Vardy on to add some pace late on.

“I thought we were excellent defensively and we looked very organised. We just needed some fresh attacking legs to keep us going forward.”