Robbie Savage is a man that Nottingham Forest fans love to hate but he’s desperate to see Brennan Johnson start for Wales tonight. Rob Page’s men take on England knowing anything less than a victory will see them leaving Qatar for the United Kingdom tomorrow.
Wales lost 2-0 to Iran on Friday. That result leaves them in an unfortunate position in Group B and they’re on the brink. Even a win tonight could see them crash out of the competition if there is a winner in the game between the USA and Iran.
Savage isn’t typically one to say nice things about Forest. He spent the latter days of his playing career turning out for Derby County and naturally he wasn’t averse to giving the fans some stick whenever the two teams met.
But, he’s clearly a fan of Forest sensation Johnson. The 21-year-old hasn’t started for Wales at the World Cup yet and tonight could be his last chance to get on the pitch as a starter for his country.
Savage is keen for Page to act. He thinks Wales could utilise his raw pace against England and has called upon the boss to make some changes to his starting lineup for tonight’s do-or-die game.
He told The Mirror: “My preference would be to start with Dan James and Brennan Johnson. They both have the mobility to get Wales up the pitch and stretch England’s back line if possible.
“Bale has to start even if he was far from his best against Iran. Let’s get real though. Wales need a miracle to go through. Any sort of win or a much-improved performance would be a major confidence boost.”
Savage desperate to see Johnson start
Wales will give tonight absolutely everything. It’s a cup final for them and really, they don’t have anything to lose by throwing the kitchen sink at England and seeing where that takes them.
For Johnson, he will want to show what he’s all about. He played just 10 minutes in the first game against the USA and then played for around 30 minutes as Wales were beaten by Iran on Friday.
Having spent time playing in the Premier League this season, he might have fancied more. Rob Page, however, has preferred other options, with Johnson being forced into an impact option from the bench.
Forest fans will naturally want England to win tonight. With the Three Lions practically assured of a place in the knockout stages, however, some might fancy Johnson to enjoy a decent performance regardless.