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Euro 2016: No England striker can match Gareth Bale, says James Chester

Lens (France): Wales defender James Chester has told England's strikers they are not in the same class as Gareth Bale.

James Chester
James Chester

Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy scored 49 Premier League goals between them last season, and England's record goalscorer Wayne Rooney will lead them out against Wales in their Euro 2016 showdown.

The build-up to the game in Lens today has seen players from both camps claim that they have the better team.

But Chester insists there is no argument when it comes down to who has the best player.

Wales forward Gareth Bale during a training session in Dinard, France yesterday, ahead of their clash with England today. Pic/Getty Images
Wales forward Gareth Bale during a training session in Dinard, France yesterday, ahead of their clash with England today. Pic/Getty Images

"They've got a lot of attacking talent, but I don't think what they've got is anything like we've got in Gareth," said Chester. "They're certainly very talented individuals and they've got a lot of goals in them. But Gareth's on a different level, he is just such a special

England showed signs of defensive fragility in the build-up , conceding seven goals in four games before beating Portugal 1-0 in their final warm-up game. And England switched off in the final seconds of their tournament opener when Russia scored an injury-time equaliser to draw 1-1 in Marseille. "If there is a weakness in the England team it's at the back," said Chester.

"So if we can keep it tight then we'll be confident we've got opportunities. Everyone in the group would take this game because a lot of us play in the Premier League and play against those individuals week in week out.

"They're obviously the team we know the most about and we're confident that we can upset them. We just need to perform individually and as a team, and play like we did in the qualifiers. If we do that then anything's possible."

No split loyalties
But he says there is no case of split loyalties, with his family all cheering for Wales. "I've seen a few friends and they're not sure who to support," said Chester.

"But my family are all behind me. They're really excited and a lot of them will be at the game. It's a huge game for everyone involved to play your rivals in such a major tournament."

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