Wales v Macedonia: Depleted hosts to drop yet more points
Craig Bellamy may have been lauding Wales’ squad as the ‘best since 1958’, but with so many missing stars ahead of their clash with Macedonia, a first home win in qualifying since beating Scotland almost exactly a year ago seems unlikely.
With Gareth Bale still wrapped from head-to-toe in Real Madrid-branded cotton wool, it’s down to a new Welsh goal machine to single-handedly try and drag Wales off the bottom of Group A.
However, even in such molten-hot form as skipper Aaron Ramsey has displayed for Arsenal this season, it’s a tough ask for the midfielder without Bale, Swansea duo Ashley Williams and Ben Davies or Celtic midfielder Joe Ledley lining up alongside him.
Macedonia have already inflicted the most disappointing of Wales’ five defeats in this group and with the visitors having already taken a point in Scotland and only losing by a single goal to both Croatia and Belgium on the road previously; gaining another point at 11/5 should prove within their capabilities.
It was regularly levelled at Tottenham last season that if Bale isn’t playing then goals don’t arrive, and the same can be said for Wales, as Bale’s notched four of the measly total of seven Chris Coleman’s side have scored from eight qualifying matches.
Nevertheless, given Ramsey is responsible for two of the other goals and in such incredible form in front of goal for the Gunners, the 5/2 on him notching here is a bet worth taking.
Meanwhile, with the Welsh having kept just one clean sheet in 14 competitive games, the 20/21 on both teams to score seems a wise option.
Another source of profit could be uncovered by backing Macedonia to net first at 5/4, as backing the opposition to score first would have landed in seven of Wales’ eight qualifiers to date.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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