Wales vs Costa Rica: Wales to triumph in Speed memorial match
Welsh national side set to post a fitting tribute to one of their finest ever players
An emotional and surreal atmosphere is expected at the Millennium Stadium on Wednesday night, as Wales look to beat Costa Rica at 4/6 to send a tribute to former manager Gary Speed, who tragically died in November 2011.
Costa Rica’s visit marks the first Wales game since Speed’s untimely death, and the travellers are 9/2 to spoil the celebration of one of the country’s favourite sons’ life, while the draw is 9/4.
Chris Coleman has succeeded Speed as Wales boss, but he will hand control instead to Osian Roberts for this game, who was a member of Speed’s backroom team, and will continue in his role under Coleman’s stewardship from now on.
It is a testament to the superb job that Speed did in charge of the national side that they are odds-on to triumph against the Costa Ricans, and they should seal an emphatic victory in memory of the legendary midfielder, so the 13/8 for Wales to be leading at half-time and full-time looks good.
The 11/4 on offer for Wales to win both halves is an equally appealing price, and punters may be inclined to invest in the 15/8 for Wales to win giving up a one-goal head start, while they are a huge 5/1 to overcome the same handicap by half-time.
Craig Bellamy counted Speed among one of his best friends as well as a respected authority figure as his manager, and the Liverpool forward will be desperate to offer his personal gratitude in the form of a goal.
He is 7/2 to hit the first of the game.
Meanwhile, Gareth Bale has emerged as one of the hottest talents in world football over the past year or so, a time period which coincided with Speed’s tenure as Wales boss, and the Tottenham winger will also be fired up to break the deadlock at 5/1.