John Hartson has told ITV Sport that he would drop Nottingham Forest star Neco Williams but start Brennan Johnson when Wales take on England.
It really is do or die for Rob Page’s men tomorrow. If Wales can’t defeat England they will go out of the World Cup with a whimper.
Wales are in a bit of a mess after Friday’s disaster. They lost 2-0 to Iran who scored twice in injury time and had Forest goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey sent off.
He will definitely be missing tomorrow and Hartson has delivered the team that the thinks should start the crucial Group B contest.
It’s bad news for Williams but Hartson would like to see Johnson come in and play on the left-hand side.
The former Wales international told ITV Sport: “I don’t think Neco Williams has done a lot wrong but I’d go with the experience of Ben Davies.
“In the final third, Gareth Bale has to play. I’d play him on the right and then I’d go with Brennan Johnson on the left who is playing really well for Nottingham Forest.”
Wales will be bang up for tomorrow’s game. England will have to be ready and they will need to perform better than they did against the USA.
Hartston says he’d drop Williams but start Johnson
It’s perhaps harsh on Williams that Hartson would consider dropping the player for the clash with England. He’s having a pretty decent tournament and he seems like a respected player within Page’s ranks.
Johnson does perhaps deserve a start. He is raw, energetic and could hurt England down the flanks if he is called upon to start the final game of the Group B campaign.
The 21-year-old is slowly but surely getting to grips with the Premier League. He’s scored two goals during 2022/23 and will only improve the more he plays.
Forest would dearly love to see both players start against England. As for Steve Cooper, although he’s a proud Welshman he’d perhaps love to see his players fly home on Wednesday and rest ahead of the Premier League return.