World Cup Qualifiers continue as Wales take on Georgia in Cardiff while Republic of Ireland travel to Moldova amongst others.
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Wales return to the comfort of the City of Cardiff Stadium this evening as they play their third game of the World Qualifiying campaign against Georgia. Even at this early stage, the table makes for interesting reading with four teams all level on 4 points apiece.
Wales come into the game on the back of a hard fought 2-2 draw with Austria in Vienna last week, with an own goal and spectacular Joe Allen volley earning the points for Chris Coleman’s side. The match proved to be a difficult test against quality opponents, and with an uncharacteristic defensive performance, in some cases sloppy, Wales will need to improve in front of their home fans.
Chris Coleman does have two major injury concerns, with Joe Allen ruled out of the match after pulling a hamstring in Austria, while Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey once again misses out with a long term injury.
It should prove to be a difficult match for Wales, despite their recent upturn in form as Georgia should provide a stern test with their European opponents unbeaten against the Welsh, having won all three of their previous matches, although they have only won once in their last nine games, but that was away against Spain.
Of course, this is a different Welsh outfit to those ‘dark’ days of years gone by, and Wales proved against Moldova in their opening match of the group that Coleman’s side can dismantle weaker opposition on their home patch.
Coleman told the BBC –
“I know it’s a full house, big expectations. As long as we get what we need – we may have to get that in a slightly different way.
“That’s not to say the players we’ve got are not capable; they’re well capable, good players and they never let us down. So it’s a big task, a big challenge against Georgia.”
However, it remains apparent that Gareth Bale is still the major creative force within the Welsh side, and much of the attacking play from the Welsh side comes from the Real Madrid man. It will be imperative for Coleman to keep his talisman fit throughout the World Cup qualifying campaign.
Bookmakers have no real concerns of an upset today, with the Welsh heavily backed into 1/3 to take all three points this evening. Those who fancy Georgia to spring a surprise can get a decent looking price of 11/ on the away win.
Ireland, who themselves narrowly defeated Georgia in Dublin last week, thanks to Seamus Coleman’s first international goal, travel to Moldova looking to build on their four points in the group.
Martin O’Neil will be without Jeff Hendrick & Robbie Brady will both miss the game through suspension and injury.
Ireland can be backed at a shortish looking price of 2/5, considering injury worries, while Moldova are available at 12/1, which could prove a touch of value for those looking for a big priced return.
That one kicks off at 19:45.
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