Kieran Trippier has told NaijaOnPoint that England will have to be wary of Gareth Bale’s ‘big moments’ when they face Wales.
The Three Lions take on Rob Page’s side on Tuesday in a decisive Group B fixture.
A win will see Wales progress to the last 16, while England only need to avoid a four-goal defeat, but will be looking for three points in order to top the group.
Should Wales escape from the group, their captain and top scorer Bale will undoubtedly be the protagonist, and good friend Trippier will be tasked with stopping him.
The two didn’t play together at Tottenham, but struck up a relationship while playing in Spain when Bale starred for Real and Tripper was at Madrid rivals Atletico.
“I was lucky enough to live close by to him in Madrid and I spent a lot of time with him,” the defender, who won a league title in Spain, said.
“For his club career I think the records speak for themselves what he’s done throughout his career, the achievements, the trophies that he’s won and what he’s done for Wales as well.
“He’s an unbelievable player and someone that we will certainly have to be aware of because he does pop up in these big moments as we’ve seen for club and country.
Wales 0-3 England LIVE: Three Lions breeze into last-16 and send Dragons home
Injured Bale off at half-time as Wales icon says he ‘played with piano on his back’
England’s possible route to Qatar 2022 World Cup final with dates and times confirmed
England fans torment Wales with funny chant during World Cup clash
England v Wales date and kick-off time – World Cup clash at Ahmad bin Ali Stadium
Cristiano Ronaldo tells Piers Morgan he DID touch the ball for Portugal goal
“It’s not just Gareth, they’ve got quality all over the pitch but Gareth is one we’ll certainly be keeping an eye on – a remarkable player and what he’s done throughout his career is incredible at a team like Real Madrid.”
Tension between home nations sides is often built up ahead of key fixtures, and one video has been circulating which might have stoked flames.
The Wales squad were captured celebrating England’s shock last 16 defeat to Iceland at Euro 2016, the lowest nadir of Roy Hodgson’s disastrous tenure.
Trippier, though, was shocked to hear the video had even been brought up.
“As players we’ve not even spoken about that,” he said. “I’m not just saying that either but again as players we have to overcome these things every week.
“It’s not added motivation for us, to be honest that’s probably the first time I’ve heard anybody bring it up, none of my teammates have spoken about it.
“As players we just need to focus on tomorrow, listen to what the manager says, the tactics, go on the training field and get ready for the game tomorrow so I’m calm and relaxed and so are my teammates and nobody has spoken about the video.”
But does he see the clash of a derby of sorts? Well the answer is also no.
Trippier explained: “I don’t really see it any differently but I know from the past it’s a big game.
“I think as players, certainly, and I can only speak for my teammates, we’re playing huge games every week for out clubs so it’s good to have that pressure but certainly we know how to handle it.
“It’s going to be another big game tomorrow and we know the past few years it’s been good games us against Wales and it’s going to be no different tomorrow so both teams are going to be up for it.”
NaijaOnPoint World Cup 2022 Coverage
NaijaOnPoint is bringing you wall-to-wall coverage of the 2022 World Cup.
We are broadcasting all 64 games in the tournament live, with over 600 hours of coverage across our network.
You can tune in to NaijaOnPoint and NaijaOnPoint 2 via our free online streaming service at NaijaOnPoint.com.
NaijaOnPoint is widely available across the UK via DAB digital radio and on 1089 or 1053 AM.
You can also download the NaijaOnPoint app, or ask your smart speaker to play NaijaOnPoint.