Davies suggests England would be weaker without Kane as Allen defends Bale and Ramsey

By Sports Desk November 27, 2022 536

Ben Davies believes England would be weaker without Harry Kane ahead of Wales' crunch match with the Three Lions, while Joe Allen defended the performances of Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey.

The Golden Boot winner in Russia four years ago, Kane is yet to register a shot on target across England's 6-2 win over Iran and goalless draw with the United States.

With the Three Lions all but assured of a place in the knockout stage, Gareth Southgate may rest his captain for their final Group B match.

Davies saluted his Tottenham team-mate but even with his potential absence, the defender is well aware of the Dragons' task.

"Harry's a world-class player and one of the best in the world, so he's going to make any team better with him in there," he said.

"That doesn't mean that England don't have very capable replacements to come in. Whoever we're up against, we're facing a team of world-class players.

"They're a world-class side. It's going to be a very tough game, but we have to prep as well as we can, look for areas of weakness they have and try and capitalise on that.

"We're under no illusions it's not going to be anything other than very difficult."

Having collected a single point from their first two games, Rob Page's side must beat their rivals - while hoping Iran fail to beat USA - to stand any chance of extending their first finals appearance in 64 years.

Davies has urged his team-mates to respond to their surprise 2-0 defeat by Iran last time out with 100 per cent effort at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium.

"We've had that disappointment, and we've got no choice but to move on and give everything we can," the Tottenham defender added.

"We're a team that's set high standards for ourselves and that's the reason why we've got to where we are now.

"That's the reason why we've been critical of our last few results – it's only because of the bar we've set ourselves. We know we can play a lot better, and we hope to do that in the next game."

Meanwhile, Joe Allen leapt to the defence of Bale and Ramsey. Between them, the pair have scored 61 goals for Wales, and were expected to play a key role in Qatar.

But both came under scrutiny following a pair of below-par displays against the USA and Iran, with four-time Champions League winner Bale registering just one shot on goal against the latter. 

"They're two incredible players, and they have been for our country," Allen said. "I don't think there's anyone else in the squad who's reached the heights they're capable of.

"It's a huge game coming up, they're big-game players and always have been. Hopefully, if any criticism has come their way, then they'll be able to answer a few of those critics with a top performance."

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Last modified on Sunday, 27 November 2022 12:31
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