Liverpool midfielder Adam Lallana says he is relishing the chance to play against Gareth Bale when England face Wales in their Euro 2016 Group B clash on Thursday.
The teams go head-to-head in Lens with Group B finely poised and the Three Lions eager to pick up three points after being held to a 1-1 draw by Russia in their tournament opener on Saturday, reports the Liverpool website.
While Wales began their Euro 2016 journey with a 2-1 victory over Slovakia.
However, Lallana feels that Wales have several star players besides Bale that are more than capable of winning the game for them.
‘Wales have lots of talented players so it’s not just Gareth we have to concentrate on,’ Lallana said.
‘Joe Allen was man of the match the other day [in Wales’ win over Slovakia], and obviously Aaron Ramsey.
‘Is he [Bale] one of the top five players in the world right now? Yes. He’s a good friend of mine and a very good player, we all know that. But we can’t focus on Gareth, that would be naive.
‘For us we are focusing on ourselves. We have to respect Wales’ strengths, and look at their weaknesses, but if we play like we did the other night we have a great chance of winning any game we play.’
Lallana insists England are very optimistic about their chances of progression from the Group stages of the Euro 2016 tournament.
‘People might say it is a must-win game. We will be looking for a win against Wales, that’s for sure,’ he added.
‘It is a pivotal game in the group. We know we need a good result. But we have big players in our team who are used to dealing with pressure. We thrive on that.’