Calvert-Lewin and Grealish to start for England vs Wales in experimental XI

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Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Jack Grealish are set to fulfil childhood dreams this evening.

Gareth Southgate is set to hand the in-from pair their first ever England starts as the Three Lions look to lay down a marker by beating neighbours Wales at Wembley.

The fixture comes before the Nations League clashes against Belgium on Sunday and Denmark on Wednesday, and is set to give some inexperienced names a chance to impress on the hallowed turf.

Aston Villa captain Grealish came off the bench against the Danes in the draw between the two sides back in September, with Everton striker Calvert-Lewin yet to play for the senior side.

The 23-year-old forward managed 15 goals for the Toffees in 41 appearances in all competitions last season, and built on that form with nine goals in his first six outings in 2020/21.

He said following his call-up: "It's been a great start for the club. I had a good feeling at the start of the season.”

The aforementioned duo are set to start in a front three with Harvey Barnes, in front of Kalvin Phillips and Harry Winks, with Southgate naming five defenders.

They include Harry Maguire and Conor Coady, with Michael Keane and Trent Alexander-Arnold joined by Bukayo Saka and Nick Pope in goal.

The manager said ahead of the test: “We have one match in my mind and that is Wales. Our focus on this game is the same as any other game. We know there is no such thing as a friendly.

“I would be disappointed if anybody felt England’s players were less passionate playing in a game like this than the Welsh. We have to go and show that.

“Our team tomorrow when you go through it will have a huge motivation to play. It may lack a bit of experience, but it will be a great opportunity to learn a lot.”

With Ryan Giggs saying of his team’s chances: “Hopefully it is a happy memory after Thursday.

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“Normally against our rivals and neighbours it is a huge game for the fans.

“It will always be a huge game but it would be so much better if there was a full house and thousands of Welsh fans had come and supported us.

“Unfortunately that is not the case but it is still a special occasion and one I am looking forward to.”

Expected England team to take on Wales: Pope; Keane, Coady, Maguire; Alexander-Arnold, Winks, Phillips, Saka; Barnes, Calvert-Lewin, Grealish.

  • England Football Team
  • Gareth Southgate
  • Aston Villa FC
  • Everton FC
  • Premier League
  • Wales Football Team

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