Euro 2016: Wales aided by Gareth Bale's winning experience says Jermaine Jenas

Gareth Bale
Gareth Bale scored the opening goal in Wales' 2-1 win against Slovakia
Euro 2016: England v Wales
Venue: Stade Felix Bollaert-Delelis, Lens Date: Thursday, 16 June Kick-off: 14:00 BST
Coverage: Live on BBC One, BBC Radio 5 live, BBC Radio Wales, the BBC Sport website and app.

Gareth Bale's trophy-winning experience with Real Madrid has aided Wales, says his former teammate Jermaine Jenas.

The 26-year-old won the Champions League for a second time on 28 May, before joining up with the Wales camp.

Wales face England on Thursday in their Group B showdown in Lens.

"It's something the England team have missed. That experience of playing in Europe, with different referees, types of environment and learning a different style of play," Jenas said.

He continued, "That's invaluable and Gareth has been able to do that. Not only that but he's winning things. The art of winning things at a big club where you're expected to win things, that always helps you."

Bale scored his penalty as Real beat Madrid rivals Atletico in a shoot-out to win the Champ[ions League for the second time in three years last month.

He scored direct from a free-kick to give Wales the lead in their 2-1 win against Slovakia on Saturday; a result which kept them top of the group following England's draw with Russia.

Jermaine Jenas and Gareth Bale
Jermaine Jenas and Gareth Bale were teammates at Tottenham Hotspur

Jenas, who played with Bale at Tottenham Hotspur prior to the Cardiff-born player's world-record move to Real, says England will struggle to deal with him on the pitch.

"I don't know how they're going to cope with him, I imagine it's a conversation most clubs have had over a number of years," he told BBC Sport.

The former Newcastle and Tottenham midfielder continued, "I think the fact that he's so quick and strong, there's certain things you can't mark in the game."

Bale, who scored seven of Wales' 11 goals in qualifying to help them reach a first major international tournament in 58 years, gave Chris Coleman's side the lead from a free-kick from outside the box against Slovakia.

Tottenham's influence on England v Wales

Five of England's 23-man Euro 2016 squad play for Tottenham Hotspur while defender Ben Davies received a call-up to Chris Coleman's Wales squad.

Harry Kane suffered a frustrating performance in England's 1-1 draw against Russia on Saturday, with teammate Eric Dier giving Roy Hodgson's side the lead from a free kick.

2015-16 Premier League top scorer Kane is confident that England can force a result against Wales in Thursday's showdown, but is aware of the threat Bale poses.

"Obviously Bale's a world class player as you've seen but they've got a good side," Kane told BBC Wales Sport. "If we play our game we're confident enough and we've got enough in our team to beat them."

Teammate facing teammates

Ben Davies
Ben Davies denies Slovakia's Marek Hamsik from taking the lead in their 2-1 Group B win on Saturday

Kane's Spurs teammate Ben Davies spared Wales' blushes in their opening game against Slovakia when he made last gasp block to deny Marek Hamsik from scoring within the opening two minutes.

The 23-year-old made 27 appearances for Spurs in 2015-16 and lined up alongside England's Danny Rose, Kyle Walker, Dele Alli and Eric Dier but is especially aware of Kane, who scored 25 league goals.

"I'm sure it will be some help [playing with Kane] but it's going to be difficult. He's been playing brilliantly for Spurs this season," Davies said.

"It does help to know how he plays but, with his quality, it will be difficult. It's up to us to work hard and try to stop him shooting at goal because that's what he does best."

Friends turned opponents

Wales and Fulham forward George Williams played with Alli as a trainee at MK Dons and knows how much of a threat he, and the rest of England's Tottenham contingent, can be.

"We grew up together since the age of 10 and we're still best mates now and I'm delighted that we're both going to be in France," he told BBC Wales Sport.

"Any person from that team is going to be a danger, Dele especially. He can score and create goals and he'll be someone that we're going to have a look at."

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