Young dragons to come of age
The Nations League is reaching its climax and so there’s plenty riding on the final set of games. None more so than the ‘winner-takes all’ clash between Wales and Denmark that takes place in Cardiff in Friday night.
Promotion the prize
Ryan Giggs won the lot as a player. He can’t say he won promotion at any point of his illustrious career though. But that’s the reward for his Welsh side should they record their third Nations League victory from four in Group B4.
It’d be quite a feat for the managerial rookie to take Wales up a level to take on the elite of international football the next time the competition comes around. Some would point at the possibility of promotion as coming too early in the development of this young group only just getting used to playing at this level.
Giggs will be having none of this though. He, more than most, knows the importance of playing against the best in order to learn and develop and will see no reason why his side cannot run out victors on the night and claim the coveted top spot.
Stop Eriksen, Stop Demark. Or?
Wales’ chances of doing so will hinge on how they deal with Denmark talisman Christian Eriksen. The midfield maestro may not be firing on all cylinders when it comes to pulling on the white of Spurs. But in the red of Denmark, Eriksen is a different animal altogether.
Of course, Wales can attest to this – it was Eriksen’s two goals that proved the difference between the two sides in the first match in Denmark, a double that made it 15 goals in his last 18 international appearances.
Undoubtedly, Eriksen has to be tamed for the hosts to stand any chance but they’re also going to need to do what no other side has yet managed and score a goal past a resolute defence yet to concede in this format. There is one man more than capable of this however.
Wales a welcome respite for Bale
The Welsh number eleven may not have been having the best of times with his club side of late so the chance to come away from the pressures of Madrid will provide welcome respite for Wales’s star man.
Faced with the challenge of trying to replace Cristiano Ronaldo at the Bernabeu, Bale is more than accustomed to being the star man for his country though and is expected to shake off a knock in time to take his place in the team, roared on by a near sell-out crowd at the Cardiff City Stadium.
A close one to call in so many ways. Denmark have the luxury of being able to draw this match and still finish as group winners, if they overcome Republic of Ireland on Monday.
Having said this Wales have the advantage of playing on home soil and knowing exactly what they need to do on the night.
I’m swaying towards the latter and Wales edging this. By backing them at 0 on the Asian Handicap with odds of 10/11 (1.92) that’ll also see money returned in the event of a draw, which is also likely given Denmark’s situation.