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International Friendly Wales vs Spain: Luis Prepares to Slay Dragons


International Friendly Wales vs Spain: Luis Prepares to Slay Dragons

Wales vs Spain

International football returns to the Principality Stadium on Thursday night where the big match on offer is International Friendly Wales vs Spain.

It’s Ryan Giggs’ biggest test so far as Wales head coach, and he has no doubt that this could turn out to be a men-against-boys clash unless he can lift his troops to a new level. Do the Welsh Dragons have enough fire to scorch the Spanish maestros of the game?

Wales vs Spain betting odds will say no, of course. After all, we’re talking about a young group of players held together by a thread of experience and quality, taking on one of the very best sides on the planet.

And it looks like they may have to do it without their own world-class talent, Gareth Bale, who is struggling to shake off a groin injury.

Talking Points

Both nations have new head coaches at the helm; Giggs is the Wales manager in his first senior appointment, while Luis Enrique is now in charge of Spain’s superstars.

Enrique brings a wealth of experience and a proven pedigree as a top-class manager, having coached Barcelona to a spectacular treble in 2015 that culminated in a Champions League triumph over Juventus. He took the helm after a period of bizarre turbulence for his national team. Julen Lopetegui resigned to go to Real Madrid two days before the World Cup started, and then Fernando Hierro was given the unenviable task of getting the best out of his talented but unsettled squad. But a last-16 exit saw the end of the caretaker.

Giggs is a novice in comparison but one who has spent his whole playing career at the top of the game. Ryan Giggs was often criticised by the Welsh faithful for putting club before country as a player, but I’m sure the Manchester United legend wasn’t the only guy to skip internationals in the heat of a Premier League battle.

The fans knew how good the flying winger could have been for Wales, just as Bale is now. But the national team never came near a major tournament during his time as a player. As manager, he has started well: blooding young talent in friendly games and then winning his first competitive match against Ireland. He believes the fans will come to love the UEFA Nations League, and they’ll certainly love the chance to see his team up against Spain.

He’s already made changes and introduced a crop of young players to the fold.

Youngsters Chris Mepham, Connor Roberts and Billy Bodin have all been handed their international debuts while the boss clearly has high hopes for Liverpool’s starlet Ben Woodburn.

Gareth Bale limping off for the second time in a week, in Real Madrid’s shock defeat to Alaves, was not a good sign for Wales, and he missed training yesterday. The weight of carrying the team is likely to fall on the shoulders of Aaron Ramsay, who has started well for Arsenal this season.

In contrast, Luis Enrique has an endless supply of world-class stars to call on, with David de Gea and Sergio Ramos standing in the way of any hopeful attack. Marco Asensio is in fine shape up front; Alvaro Morata is back in the squad, having found his scoring boots for Chelsea; following his loan switch to Borussia Dortmund, Paco Alcacer has been in superb form.

History

This is the first meeting between these two sides since 1985, and the Wales vs Spain news will reverberate around the world if Giggs can inspire his team to an unlikely win.

Wales put on a four-star show to beat Ireland in their first competitive game then succumbed to Denmark in their second Nations League match. But Spain is a different prospect altogether.

Enrique’s side has made a blistering start to the UEFA Nations League, beating a talented England side before destroying World Cup finalists Croatia 6-0, inflicting a worst-ever defeat on their visitors, with five different scorers and an own goal.

Betting Tip

Spain First Half 1X2 @ 1.92

The home crowd will be right behind the Dragons, but Giggs’ team will be up against it from the off. Spain are the hot favourites at 1.36, while Wales is out there at 8.00 and the draw is at 4.50.

The SBOBET odds on 2 to 3 goals are at 1.85 as we don’t see a hammering on the way for the hosts, while Over 2.50 goals is available at 1.93, with Under 2.50 at 1.97.

I just feel it would be a fantastic achievement if Wales can make it to halftime intact and if they do…it could be one heck of a night in the valleys!

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

 


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