1. John Terry Looking Nervous
Having been given a position of tremendous national significance as well as the huge honour of calling heads or tails, John Terry will now find himself solely responsible for England's on-field performance tomorrow. As captain, it will be JT's responsibility to ensure that we're tight at the back, expressive in the middle and not completely inadequate up front.
In other words, should England be trailing in the last moments, expect to see him playing upfront, should we be defending a lead, expect to see him relieve Joe Hart of goalkeeping duties and attempting a Gandalf-like “you shall not pass” routine. Of course, should they sneak a 1-0 in the dying seconds when a Wayne Hennessey clearance is freakishly caught by the wind and rolls back over the goal-line, expect him to take full credit for it in front of the cameras.
2. Ramsey And Wilshere Hugging It Out
Despite having one leg made from lollipop sticks that have been prit-sticked back together, Aaron Ramsey has been handed the captain's armband for Wales at the tender age of 20. Meanwhile, his good pal Jack Wilshere has, in the space of a few months, become the “salvation of the English game” and a guaranteed starter of Fabio Capello. Not wanting to seem out-done by the other, expect the two of them to engage in a competitive combination of slick passing, clever-interplay and some strictly-hetero male bonding during the contest.
Would it be too much to ask for a brief lapse in concentration that sees the pair of them playing a one-two with each other before realising they're in opposite sides? Yes. Yes it probably would.
3. Glen Johnson Sunbathing
Having spent the better part of the last few weeks not eating, waking up in a cold sweat and being caught sobbing in dark corners, Glen Johnson, the footballing equivalent of Milli Vanilli, will not have the responsibility of being humiliated by Gareth Bale after all. Now facing the prospect of David Vaughn and his reluctance to take a defender on, or Craig Bellamy and his huge, relentless mouth, expect England's number two to deploy a deckchair at around the hour mark to get some much needed vitamin D into his system.
3 Fabio Capello Doing This
4. Betting Slips
In my brief experiences of the Welsh I've found them to be a positive and optimistic bunch. When not gleefully skipping around spelling names and places with twelve Y's, they're producing the greatest left-wingers in the world and refusing to take the blame for The Stereophonics. Regardless, I'll stake my entire reputation on half the blokes in that ground having a few quid (or Euros, whatever they're using over there) on a modest home victory, or at least a Welsh first goalscorer.
Like almost all optimism, it's sadly misplaced and when the inevitable breakthrough occurs, the sight of tens of thousands of betting slips being shredded and tossed into the air will probably put the confetti at the Royal Wedding to utter shame.
Glen Johnson, the footballing equivalent of Milli Vanilli, will not have the responsibility of being humiliated by Gareth Bale after all.
5. The Distinct Sound Of Metal Scraping Against Metal
I am unfamiliar with the layout of the press boxes at The Millennium Stadium, I'm not sure how close they are from the pitch-side microphones or how well they insulate sound. However, if during the game, probably if Wales take the lead or England are 10 minutes away from a bad result, you should hear a what sounds like one piece of metal being dragged across another, do not adjust your television – that's just the English football press sharpening their knifes.
Because, y'know, despite Capello's years of experience and success, despite his constant professionalism and determination, and despite the fact he has a team of over-pampered, hyped up frauds, who are more interested in their twitter accounts and Comic Relief cameos, to try and coax a performance out of, he definitely doesn't care about England. Should England fail to win 19-0 then expect this noise to be followed by the sound of a barrel being scraped when you get to the back of your paper tomorrow.
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