Speed eyes England scalp after Wales topple Montenegro

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Qualifiation may be a distant dream but Wales’ victory over Montenegro last night could spark a resurgence in Welsh football.

Group G leaders Montenegro arrived in Cardiff knowing that a win would keep England at bay at the top of the group, but Zlato Kranjcar’s side were unable to overcome a Welsh side that looks to have finally gelled under their new manager.

Wales entered the game with just one victory in seven under Gary Speed but yesterday’s result suggests the belief is within the young squad to spark a run.

Wembley awaits on Tuesday night for Wales and they are huge underdogs against an England side that beat Bulgaria 3-0 on Friday.

At 11/1 to win, the bookmakers don’t hold out much hope for a Wales win but in the international equivalent of a local derby, it won’t be plain sailing for an England side that are 1/8 to win.

With the belief back in the Wales camp the squad will be raring to go on Tuesday night and England will face a real battle.

Stranger things have happened in local rivalries but while this Wales side will be pumped up for the England trip, Speed needs to look at the bigger picture and target wins at home to Switzerland and away to Bulgaria in Wales’ final two matches.

A solid performance in defeat on Tuesday for Wales would still suggest that they are progressing under Speed and the home game against Switzerland is more than winnable.

Wins against Switzerland and Bulgaria would see Wales finish third in Group G and having sunk to a lowly 118 in the world, the ranking would rise rapidly with a third place finish.

Speed needs to take this confidence and breed it through Wales’ final three games and should he do so, things will look much more promising for Welsh football.

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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.