Williams has leadership skills to steer Wales to Bulgaria victory

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Craig Bellamy’s absence from the Wales squad for their Euro 2012 qualifier against Bulgaria has robbed caretaker boss Brian Flynn of his captain, but in Ashley Williams they appear to have a worthy replacement.

Williams has already led Wales on two occasions in the past, in a 3-0 victory over Scotland last year and then in another friendly in Croatia, which they lost 2-0.

Swansea teammate Joe Allen also featured in the Scotland victory and feels that Williams has the attributes which many would deem to be important for a skipper.

He said: “No-one here knows Ashley better than me and I can’t speak highly enough of him as a player and person.

“I came on alongside him as captain in the Scotland game and I think his leadership skills were evident.”

Williams will need to display all of his passion and encouragement at the Cardiff City Stadium as a Wales defeat would almost end their Euro 2012 qualifying campaign after just two games.

Wales are traditionally a team that are at their best with some momentum behind them and having lost 1-0 in their group opener in Montenegro, a victory is needed ahead of another crunch qualifier on Tuesday in Switzerland.

Flynn’s team are 13/8 to beat Bulgaria, but they will have to do so without star striker Bellamy, who has been left out of the squad to recover from a knee problem.

The other obvious contender for captaincy would be James Collins, who regularly wears his heart on his sleeve and shows a willingness to put his body on the line when playing for Aston Villa.

Wales last played Bulgaria in an away friendly in 2007 and left with a 1-0 win, while they have not conceded a goal in either meeting to have ever taken place between the pair. See the whole Wales vs Bulgaria match betting market.

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