Follow minute-by-minute live text commentary as Wales take on Scotland at The Cardiff City Stadium in the World Cup Qualifiers
Although Wales have started their own campaign poorly – they do have Gareth Bale. The Welsh winger came under some scrutiny this past week for his blatent dive against Aston Villa – although fans around the world are envious of the Welshman's ability. With two defeats from their opening two games however – Wales go into this game desperate for a victory.
Under Chris Coleman Wales hardly look an effective side. With a 6-1 loss to Serbia last month the Welsh will be desperate to get a win – and more importantly 3 points.
Steven Fletcher's five goals in six games this season has raised hopes that he will be the man to kick-start Scotland's campaign. Fans and players alike are pleased with the re-integration of Fletcher – with Celtic star James Forrest saying: “Were delighted hes back in the squad, week in and week out hes one of the best strikers in the English Premier League so its great he is back.
Scotland will welcome the return of captain and Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher after his long absence due to a bowl condition. Celtic's Scott Brown will also be in contention after missing last months games.
Wales - Last 5 Results:
11/09/12 – Serbia 6 – 1 Wales
07/09/12 – Wales 0 – 2 Belgium
29/02/12 – Wales 0 – 1 Costa Rica
15/08/12 – Wales 0 – 2 Bosnia and Herzegovina
27/05/12 – Mexico 2 – 0 Wales
Chris Coleman is still looking for his first victory as Wales manager – , Coleman will no doubt be desperate for his first victory to come up against Scotland this Friday. Wales have only scored one goal under Coleman – but with Gareth Bale in there team, Wales have one player who has the ability to make things happen. With 5 defeats in there last 5 games, Wales are in a dire run of form. With 13 goals conceded in their last 5 games – Coleman will need to make changes to his side prior to the game if they are to qualify for a majour tournament since 1958.
Scotland - Last 5 Results:
11/09/12 – Scotland 1 – 1 Macedonia
08/09/12 – Scotland 0 – 0 Serbia
15/08/12 – Scotland 3 – 1 Australia
27/05/12 – USA 5 – 1 Scotland
29/02/12 – Slovenia 1 – 1 Scotland
Craig Levien's men have lost just once in their last five games. Whilst drawing three and one victory – it is difficult to assess there current form. Since conceding five goals to The United States – Scotland have sorted out their defensive issues and only conceded two in their last three games. However with only 6 goals in there last 5 games – it is clear that Scotlan arent scoring enough goals. Something which Sunderland hit man Steven Fletcher is more than capable of doing so.
Key Player: Wales – Gareth Bale
The only player to score in Wales' last 5 outings, Bale is the one bright talent in Welsh Football at the moment. With 36 caps at just the age of 23 – Wales will hope Bale will be on top form come Friday night. Bale, a proud Welshman will be just as desperate as everyone else to qualify for a major tournament since 1958. Scotland will double up on Bale – the winger will have to rely on his pace to penetrate the Scottish defence.
Key Player: Scotland – Steven Fletcher
The Sunderland hit man has scored 5 goals in 6 games already this season. A lot was made of the £14,000,000 paid for Fletcher – but he has gone to prove all doubters wrong – much to the delight of Martin O'Neil, Leivin and The Scottish National Team. It has been two years since Fletcher last played for Scotland – now more mature at the age of 25, he will be the man Scotland go to for goals this Friday.