After Sam Warburton led Wales to glorious failure in the Six Nations championship last weekend, it’s the turn of the back-row forward’s former Whitchurch High School classmate Gareth Bale to inspire his country against the challenge of Israel away in Euro 2016 qualifying.
Here are our three best bets for the fixture:
Chris Coleman’s men have claimed four points from two games on the road so far in this Euro 2016 qualifying campaign, and drew with talent-laden Belgium in November.
Israel’s bare form of four wins in a row is obviously decent, and they took Bosnia-Herzegovina down a peg or two last time out when winning 3-0 in Haifa, but that was their first victory in front of the faithful in four games, stretching back to February 2013.
Northern Ireland and Azerbaijan picked up 2014 World Cup points in Israel during that run, and Slovakia beat Eli Guttman’s men 3-1 in a friendly back in March.
At the prices, with the hosts 23/20 favourites, a full-strength Wales side replete with the likes of Bale, Aaron Ramsey and Ashley Williams are surely worth a nibble.
The Arsenal midfield dynamo has bagged twice in his past three games, scoring in the Gunners’ Champions League last-16 second leg in Monaco despite only coming on with 27 minutes left on the clock.
Bale is less than half the price to notch at 11/5, but the Real Madrid flyer has only troubled the scoreboard operator in one of his last 11 appearances for Los Blancos, albeit by way of a brace at home to Levante earlier this month.
Be that as it may, Ramsey rates the better bet.
None of Israel’s last six games have shuffled below this mark, but three of Wales’ past four on the road have, and Coleman’s charges haven’t conceded more than once in any of their first four Euro 2016 qualifiers, so don’t expect a deluge.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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