England will be ‘beatable’ at World Cup – Morrell

Joe Morrell started in midfield against Poland alongside Dundee United’s Dylan Levitt

Wales midfielder Joe Morrell says England will be “beatable” when the two home nations meet at the World Cup.

Wales will face England in their final Group B game in Qatar on 29 November.

Robert Page’s side will hope to have sealed a place in the knockout stages by then, having faced USA and Iran, but Morrell insists they will back themselves should they need a result against the English.

“We are going to need to get at least four points to go through,” he said.

“[Facing England last] could work quite well but we’ve got three games and we might have to do well in all of them.

“It probably worked quite well in the [2020] Euros to have Italy last [in Wales’ group].

“But if it comes down to needing something against England, we’d be happy with that because, you know, they’re beatable.”

Wales faced England in the second game of the group stage at Euro 2016, their first major tournament in 58 years.

They lost 2-1 thanks to a stoppage-time Daniel Sturridge goal, but won their other two group matches – against Slovakia and Russia – as part of a spectacular run to the semi-finals.

At Euro 2020, Wales began with a draw against Switzerland and then beat Turkey, meaning a 1-0 defeat to eventual champions Italy in their final group game was enough to secure progress to the last 16 on goal difference.

Wales’ first World Cup finals appearance since 1958 will start with a game against USA on 21 November. They take on Iran four days later before the England clash on 29 November.

“I think the England game is seen as the big one, the one everyone will talk about and which will take all the headlines because England always do,” added Portsmouth’s Morrell before England drew against Germany to conclude their disappointing Nations League campaign.

“But we’re more than happy for that, for them to get the headlines. I’m sure it was the same in 2016. All the papers will talk about them – and that suits us.

“It will be good to play against something a bit different in two non-European teams, a different style of football certainly.

“With the staff, the analysts, we’ll know exactly what to expect come November.”

Wales saw their final game before the World Cup end in defeat on Sunday, as Karol Swiderski’s goal gave Poland Nations League victory in Cardiff.

Page’s men have won just one of their last eight games – the World Cup play-off final against Ukraine in June which booked their place in Qatar.

The Poland loss meant Wales were relegated from the Nations League’s top tier, but Morrell insists there are no worries within the squad over their form.

“If performances weren’t there we’d be concerned,” he said.

“But we are going into the World Cup on the back of playing Poland, Netherlands, Belgium as opposed to Finland and Bulgaria, who we played in our last [Nations League] campaign. It will stand us in good stead.

“The good thing is we’ve got lads who’ve played tournament football – there are not many who weren’t at the Euros in Baku, and we have some lads who have been at two.

“So there’s no excuses. We know it’s an achievement to get to the World Cup but it would be a shame to waste it. We want to go there and put a stamp on the tournament.”

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