Tuesday evening news briefing: 'Battle of Britain' at the World Cup

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Good evening. In what has been dubbed the "Battle of Britain" at the World Cup, England and Wales are preparing to face off at 7pm. Our experts have made their predictions for the match below and you can follow live coverage here. But, first, the headlines...

Evening briefing: Today's essential headlines

Census data | Britain's two largest cities are now minority white British, the census has revealed today. Statisticians say the figures for London and Birmingham indicate the "increasingly multicultural society we live in". The data also showed that Christians now account for less than half of the UK population for the first time in census history – and Romanian has entered the top ten languages spoken in the UK. See a breakdown of nationalities in your area by entering your postcode here.

The big story: Rivals set for 'Battle of Britain' in Qatar

It is the first ever tie between the home nations at a World Cup finals. At 7pm, England and Wales meet on the pitch in Qatar.

If Gareth Southgate's side slays the dragon tonight, Welsh hearts will be broken – Rob Page's team are in need of a famous victory to stand any chance of progression to the knockout stages.

These are the expected starting line-ups and you can follow live coverage from the Ahmed bin Ali stadium.

The two nations played each other at Euro 2016 when Daniel Sturridge's late goal won the day, although Wales had the last laugh by reaching the semi-finals after England were knocked out in the last-16 by Iceland.

England are assured of progression from the group in Qatar providing they avoid a four-goal defeat, but will be keen to improve on a stuttering performance against the USA in their previous match.

For Wales to progress, they must beat England and hope for a draw between the USA and Iran. If USA vs Iran does not end in a draw, Wales must beat England by four goals to advance.

Read how our expert writers see the game panning out – and give your own verdict using our predictor tool.

With the final round of Group B matches tonight, it is mathematically possible for all teams to qualify for the last 16.

England are top with four points, followed by Iran on three, USA on two and Wales on one. This is what each team needs to do to reach the knockout stages – and their likely opponents after the group stage.

In total, there are 64 games taking place during a feast of football that runs until December 18. It is not too late to pick your most likely winner with our World Cup predictor.

Iran v USA – follow live

At the same time as England and Wales kick off, Iran will meet with the USA in their final Group B match at the Al Thumama stadium near Doha.

The two sides have only ever met once before at the World Cup, with Iran winning 2-1 in France in 1998. But it is US coach Gregg Berhalter's team who are the favourites to come out on top tonight, with talisman Christian Pulisic – nicknamed Captain America by fans – at the helm. Follow live updates.

After Iran's players refused to sing their national anthem before their opening match against England, the team has reportedly been warned, if they do not "behave" themselves for the rest of the tournament, their families will face "violence and torture".

Life lessons from the Welsh

My colleague Chris Bennion, an ever optimistic Welshman, has not entirely ruled out Wales's chances of beating England tonight and progressing in the tournament.

But, should the side's 64-year dream be over inside a mere eight days, he has compiled some advice for his English friends – at home and in Qatar – on how they can take a little of Wales with them into the knockout stages.

He explains five things the English can learn from the Welsh at the World Cup.

PS: Fellow proud Welshman Gareth Davies reports how the leek – rooted in Welsh history for centuries – has gained protected status.

Comment and analysis

World news: Chinese protesters clash with officials

Chinese citizens are putting up fresh fights against Covid lockdowns in their neighbourhoods, emboldened by massive protests. Videos circulating online showed residents of an apartment compound in Jinan shouting "Lift the lockdown!" while clashing with dozens of hazmat-clad Covid wardens over metal racks that had been used to block access to the compound. Meanwhile, China's ambassador to the UK has been summoned to the Foreign Office amid a diplomatic row over the arrest and alleged beating of a BBC journalist covering protests in Shanghai.

Tuesday interview: 'Let's ensure the purest form of cricket survives'

Brendon McCullum says he is passionate about Tests – as well as turning England into the great entertainers. The head coach speaks to the Vaughany and Tuffers podcast. Read the interview

Sport briefing: 'Fifa couldn't stop me', says protester

Away from England v Wales, the pitch invader who delayed a World Cup match while waving a rainbow flag has said Fifa were powerless to stop his protests – unlike those of footballers. And Gregg Berhalter, the US coach, and captain Tyler Adams issued a double apology to Iran during an extraordinary press conference in which they were tackled on racism in America, the country's immigration policy and inflation.

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Business briefing: How taxpayers subsidise railways

Subsidising the railways has cost British households £1,800 each over the past six years, new figures show. Taxpayers have been forced to inject £50.4bn to prop up the railways since 2016/17 as fare income is not enough to balance the books. Chief business correspondent Oliver Gill reports on the figures released by regulator the Office of Rail and Road. Elsewhere, Elon Musk has abandoned Twitter's Covid-19 misinformation policy after vowing to make the site a free speech champion.

Tonight starts now

Book a holiday? | If you have misgivings about all-inclusive holidays, winter 2022 might be the time to put them aside. With everything from energy bills to milk and marmalade increasing in price, and the pound tumbling to historic lows, there has never been a time when paying for everything upfront has been more appealing. In this uncertain economic landscape, going all-inclusive offers a degree of surety and comfort. Sarah Baxter offers 15 amazing all-inclusive options to get you started.

Three things for you

And finally... for this evening's downtime

Christmas Charity Appeal | Vicky McLennan, 41, does not appear like many expect veterans to look. "When you think of one, most people picture an old man," she says. "I'm overlooked in a way. Female veterans can be invisible, and I've felt that at times." The ex-soldier tells Abigail Buchanan about getting the help she needed.

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