Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Prediction: Wales vs Spain

Tom Dunstan in Free Soccer Predictions 11 Oct 2018

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Verdict: Spain win and over 2.5 goals

Best Odds: 11/10

Bookmaker: Bet365

Enjoying an impressive run of form under their new boss Luis Enrique, Spain will travel to the Principality Stadium on Thursday night as they meet Ryan Giggs’ Wales side.

Wales

Starting with Wales, while former captain Ryan Giggs will be content with his start to life in the dugout, the Reds quickly came crashing back down to earth last month. Picking up a 4-1 win over Ireland in their UEFA Nations League opener, Giggs saw his side put in a lackluster showing in their 2-0 defeat away to Denmark last month. Despite putting four past Ireland, Giggs knows that they must be more consistent in the final third. Now failing to find the net in three of his last four matches in charge, Thursday’s task will be made a whole lot harder as they will be unable to call upon talisman Gareth Bale. Wales will also be looking to improve on their recent record on home soil. Now winning just three of their matches in the nations capital, they have also recorded just one clean sheet at home in their last six.

Team News

Picking up a knock with Real Madrid last weekend, Ryan Giggs has confirmed that Gareth Bale will not feature on Thursday.

Aaron Ramsey also missed training after playing in Arsenal’s 5-1 win at Fulham on Sunday, while young Leeds striker Tyler Roberts sat out the session following a heavy recent workload.

Spain

With now former boss Julen Lopetegui partying ways with Spain just 48 hours before kick-off, it was always going to be an up hill struggle at this summers World Cup. Crashing out at the hands of Russia in the last 16, they have now turned to Luis Enrique to lead their comeback. Opting to play a more direct route, the former Barcelona boss is enjoying a very impressive start to his tenure with the 2010 World Champions. Battling back from a goal down to take three points off England in their UEFA Nations League opener, Spain put in a very eye-catching performance as they stuck six past this summers finalists Croatia last time out. One man who will be looking to carry on his recent run of form will be Valencia forward Rodrigo. While he has struggled in La Liga of late, the 27-year-old found the net in both of Spain’s victories over England and Croatia. Thursday’s visitors will also be boosted by their recent record on the road, aside from their penalties defeat to Russia this summer, Spain are now unbeaten away from home since 2015.

Team News

Spain have Isco missing as he recovers from appendicitis, while Dani Carvajal, Sergi Roberto and Diego Costa are all out injured.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Spain are now unbeaten in their last 10 friendly matches and have also lost just one match in 2018 (The World Cup last-16 shootout defeat to Russia).
  • The 2010 World Champions have also not lost a match away from home in the last three years.
  • Wales have won one of their last three home matches.
  • Striker Rodrigo found the net in both victories over Croatia and England.
  • Wales have now recorded just one clean sheet in their last six matches on home soil.

Conclusion

While Giggs has done an impressive job of improving the mood around the Wales camp, it is hard to see them stopping a Spain side that will undoubtedly prove to be his toughest test to date. Given their recent resurge under Luis Enrique, coupled with the former World Champions stellar record away from home, we’re backing the visitors to come away with another convincing win on Thursday night.

Verdict: Spain win and over 2.5 goals

Best Odds: 11/10

Bookmaker: Bet365

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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