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Croatia V Wales: Match Preview
Published : 16 Oct 2012 11:40:13
Wales' World Cup qualification chances were given a much needed boost on Friday night when they came from behind to beat Group A rivals Scotland with two late goals from Welsh wizard Gareth Bale. Chris Coleman would of earned the undesirable title of 'first manager to lose his first six matches in a row', that's not something any manager would want on their CV.
Wales defender Ashley Williams will again captain his national side after he replaced Aaron Ramsey as the man with the armband. The Arsenal midfielder will miss the match entirely after picked up a number of yellow cards to earn him a suspension, David Edwards is likely to replace him.
Croatia have faired better than their opposition, winning two and drawing one to remain unbeaten so far in the qualification stages. A win in their last match against bottom side Macedonia means they are joint top of the group, only behind on goal difference to Belgium. Croatia have no new injuries or suspensions to worry about so are likely to name an unchanged side for Tuesday night.
Wales' recent form has been poor but with a fairly new manager many will say that Chris Coleman is still bedding in his own system and that the players need time to adapt. The fans and players alike will be hoping Friday's win over Scotland will be a turning point for The Dragons and will want to see them kick-on when they face Croatia.
Wales: Last Five Results
Wales 2 – 1 Scotland
Serbia 6 – 1 Wales
Wales 0 – 2 Belgium
Wales 0 – 2 Bosnia
Wales 0 – 2 Mexico
Croatia will be looking to keep the pressure on Group A leaders Belgium by getting the win at home against Wales. They go into the match in good form with two wins and a draw in their last five matches, beating group rivals Macedonia home and away in the process. The only disappointing result in their last five matches was a 4-2 loss against Switzerland.
Croatia: Last Five Results
Macedonia 1 – 2 Croatia
Belgium 1 – 1 Croatia
Croatia 1 – 0 Macedonia
Croatia 2 – 4 Switzerland
Croatia 0 – 1 Spain
Wales main threat is obvious. He's scored all three goals of Chris Coleman's tenure, Gareth Bale. The Welsh Wizard is in blistering form for his country, scoring six goals in seven games and will be hoping to notch up a few more against Croatian defense that isn't exactly blessed with pace. The winger is capable of winning this game all on his own and will definitely be one to watch.
Whilst Croatia don't have a player as explosive as Gareth Bale they do have stars of their own. Former Spurs midfielder Luka Modric will be Croatia's play maker and the man to watch, if Wales want to win they will have to lock him down and give him no space on the ball to hurt them.
Prediction: Croatia 2 – 1 Wales
I think this will be tough for croatia, Wales will be buoyed by their recent victory and the team will have been galvanised by the manner of that win. Bale will score and continue his fine form, but away from home I think Wales will lack the confidence and legs to see out the game.