England and Wales clashes have been all too rare in recent years but thanks to the World Cup, the rivalry has been renewed. Here EchoSPORT takes a look at the pick of past matches between the two home nations and profiles the men at the helm.

Wembley, November 16, 1966 England 5 Wales 1

JUST four months after England's historic World Cup success, the Welsh entered London aiming to dampen the party-mood.

Yet there was no such glory for the visitors at a buoyant Wembley stadium, as Sir Alf Ramsey's men continued in the same sort of form that had clinched a memorable victory over West Germany just a few months earlier.

From the 97 meetings between the two Home Nations, Wales have only beaten England 14 times and this never looked like being anything other than another notch on the Three Lions' score chart.

Wales were soundly beaten by a rampant England team that had serious thoughts of following up their World Cup success with more joy in the European Championships in 1968.

That wish may not have been forthcoming but this 5-1 defeat of the Welsh will never be forgotten.

Despite a strong Wales line-up boasting the likes of Cliff Jones and Ron Davies, they could do very little to thwart an England side still high on the adrenaline they carried with them from the World Cup.

Newcastle striker Wyn Davies, who hit 53 goals during his time at St James' Park, scored for Wales but Geoff Hurst with two and both the Charltons, Jackie and Bobby, got on the scoresheet.

The 5-1 victory remains England's largest against Wales since 1929 - when England cruised to a 6-0 success at Chelsea.

Wembley, January 24, 1973

England 1 Wales 1

MOST people seem to believe England's failure to beat an inspired Poland team in the 1974 World Cup qualifiers was the reason they failed to progress to the final stages of the competition in West Germany.

Of course an element of that is true. But had the Three Lions mauled the Welsh Dragon beneath the twin towers nine months earlier, a draw against the Poles would have been enough to see England through.

England faced Poland at Wembley - nearly 31 years to the day -- in their last qualifying match of the group, in a must-win situation.

Of course, as England fans have witnessed on so many occasions in the recent past, the inevitable happened and England crashed out of the competition after the game finished 1-1, thanks to a Norman Hunter gaffe, some profligacy in front of goal and a truly formidable display by goalkeeper from Jan Tomaszewski, who was later called a clown by Brian Clough for his unconventional goalkeeping between the sticks.

The match was not only significant in that it was the first time England had failed to qualify for the finals since 1950, but it also signalled the end of Sir Alf Ramsey's reign in charge of the national team.

England had already registered a 1-0 victory against Wales in the Principality courtesy of a Colin Bell goal, and the return game in the capital was seen by many as a formality.

But despite lining up with World Cup winners Bobby Moore and Alan Ball and luminaries such as Kevin Keegan and Martin Chivers, Wales managed to carve out a 1-1 draw to put a huge dent in their qualifying aspirations.

Leighton James was one of the tormentor in chiefs that memorable evening and it was the former Sunderland winger who provided John Toshack with the goal assist.

Wrekenton-born Hunter, whose slip would later prove to be costly against the Poles, levelled for the home side with a 30-yard scorcher just before half-time.

It was all one-way after the break as wave after wave of England attacks threatened to flood the Welsh goal occupied by Leeds United keeper Gary Sprake. But ultimately Wales managed to stem the tide and it was England who were left feeling seasick.

Wrexham, May 17, 1980

Wales 4 England 1

ENGLAND'S heaviest defeat at the hands of Wales is all the more perplexing when you consider they had been unofficially crowned the world's best team in their previous fixture.

A vibrant England side, inspired by an energetic Kevin Keegan, had completely overwhelmed World Cup holders Argentina, who included a precocious 18-year-old called Diego Maradona, 3-1 at Wembley four days earlier.

Not only that but they faced Wales in the opening fixture of the Home Internationals at Wrexham on the back of six successive victories - yet they still crashed to a disappointing 4-1 defeat.

A Phil Thompson own goal and strikes from Micky Thomas, Ian Walsh and Leighton James, were enough to hand new boss Mike England a victory in his first match in charge of the Welsh side. Paul Mariner replied for the visitors.

A lacklustre England side, which included an out-of-sorts Larry Lloyd, called up by his country for the first time in eight years for his fourth and last cap, could not get to grips with a fluent Welsh attack, despite including Glenn Hoddle, Trevor Brooking, Phil Neal and Steve Coppell in the side.

England followed the Welsh disaster with yet another disappointing result, a 1-1 draw against Northern Ireland at Wembley, before a redeeming 2-0 victory against the auld enemy at Hampden Park.

Wales, on the other hand, failed to build on their record victory and lost both their following two games against Scotland and Northern Ireland, who were eventually crowned champions outright for only the second time in their history.

Wrexham, May 2, 1984

Wales 1 England 0

STUDENTS of the German philosopher Arthur Schopenhaur who also happen to be England supporters must be going through hell at this precise moment.

Schopenhaur, who lived between 1788 and 1860, followed a doom philosophy that intimated there was no reality of happiness, only pain. In other words he was a pessimist.

As any fanatical followers of the national team will remind you, this is indeed the case with England. If you take any light of optimism, for example the recent European Championship wins against Switzerland and Croatia last summer, and juxtapose it with the pessimism of crashing out to Portugal on penalties, this simply philosophy will be easy to understand. Further examples can be found at Italia 90, Euro 96, France 98, Euro 2000 and Japan 2002.

The doom-mongers among the England supporters looking for precedents or omens in this fixture will not need reminding that Mark Hughes marked his international debut against England with a spectacular goal in the 1-0 victory at Wrexham in 1984.

They will also know that it was the last time both sides met in a competitive match and Hughes is indeed in his penultimate game as Wales' boss!

The irony must be excruciatingly overwhelming for the doom and gloom merchants going into this afternoon's fixture at Old Trafford.

The team Wales fielded on that fateful day in May was arguably one of the finest in its history.

Neville Southall, Kevin Ratcliffe, Ian Rush, Mickey Thomas and Gordon Davies, all in their prime, lined up against Bobby Robson's England side, who included the unremarkable Mike Duxbury, John Gregory, David Armstrong, Terry Fenwick and Luther Blissett in their squad.

Wales have one or two players who could cause an upset, notably Newcastle's Craig Bellamy, Ryan Giggs and Simon Davies, but so do England in Wayne Rooney, Michael Owen, Jermain Defoe, David Beckham and Frank Lampard.

Can Wales pull it off it off again?

The students of doom, who believe a pint is half empty, will tell you England have lost this fixture on 14 occasions.

On the other hand, those who believe the glass is half full will tell you England have managed to avoid defeat against the Welsh 83 times, winning 62 of them. Draw your own philosophy.