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Euro 2016: Dons set for clashes

15 June 2016

MK Dons could have six players, past and present, involved in Euro 2016 action on Thursday.

In the first of three matches on Thursday, England take on Wales in an important Group B clash between two home nations.

Among the Wales squad is Dons striker Simon Church, who will be looking to feature in the game having watched their opener against Slovakia from the bench alongside Academy graduate George Williams.

One player that did feature in that 2-1 win last Saturday was former loanee Jonny Williams. The midfielder, who spent time on loan at Stadium MK last season, played a key role in the triumph, winning the free-kick which was converted by Gareth Bale in the first half.

A victory for Chris Coleman’s men would secure their place in the knockout stages of Euro 2016, while a draw should be enough to see them at least qualify as one of the best third-placed teams.

On the other side of the field, Dons Academy graduate Dele Alli is expected to remain in England’s starting XI after his impressive display in last week’s opener against Russia.

The Three Lions will be looking to improve on their 1-1 draw and give themselves a better chance of progressing through to the Last 16 – a defeat in Lens would leave them with it all to do in their final game against Slovakia.

Thursday’s home-nations derby kicks off at 2pm in Lens. Live coverage is on BBC One.

Later in the day, Northern Ireland face Ukraine in Decines hoping to bounce back from their defeat to Poland last weekend.

The Green and White Army, whose squad includes Dons right-back Lee Hodson and ex-loanee Will Grigg, were beaten 1-0 by the Poles but three points from their game on Thursday would improve their chances of making it out of the group.

Neither Hodson nor Grigg featured in the opener last Sunday so, no doubt, both players will be itching to play a part in Thursday’s fixture.

Northern Ireland’s important Group C match gets underway at 5pm. Live coverage is on ITV.

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