Liverpool’s shock signing returns focus to international campaign

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Following his dramatic return to Liverpool on Wednesday, Craig Bellamy is feeling rather pleased with himself today.

Having been granted permission by the Welsh Football Association to leave the training camp and travel to Liverpool for a medical yesterday, Bellamy is back in South Wales today ahead of Wales’ European Championships qualifier with Montenegro on Friday.

Gary Speed will be hoping Bellamy’s move to Liverpool has given the striker a new lease of life and the Wales coach knows his most capped player will be crucial to Wales chances of registering a first victory under Speed.

Bellamy has scored just the once in his last five appearances for Wales but there is no doubt the Liverpool striker will lead the line against Montengro in a likely 4-4-2 formation alongside Steve Morison.

Morison is yet to open his account for Wales despite making eight appearances for his country and it’s Wales’ lack of goals that are costing them games.

Wales have managed just one goal in their four Group G games in this qualifying period and since starting this qualifying campaign against Montenegro 12 months ago, have scored just five goals in eight games.

Speed’s side have managed four goals in their last three games but these came against Scotland, Northern Ireland and Australia and Montenegro are much better opposition than this.

Wales are 11/5 to win tomorrow with Montenegro available at a very tempting 5/4.

Speed will be targeting a win but will be happy if he sees his side come away with a point as they are yet to pick one up in this qualifying campaign and the draw is available at 23/10.

Bellamy is 7/1 to get the first goal but goals shouldn’t be expected in Friday’s clash and under 2.5 goals looks the best bet at 4/7.

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Robbie Morris

Robbie studied sports journalism at the University of Gloucestershire, an establishment chosen for its proximity to Cheltenham racecourse, where he was a season ticket holder. Upon graduation, Robbie was a contributor to GolfPunk, a national magazine aimed at ridding golf of its traditionalist image, before joining the news.ladbrokes team.