Requiring two goals from Gareth Bale to come from behind and avoid embarrassment against minnows Andorra last month, a visit of Bosnia-Herzegovina is sure to put Wales to the test.
Things haven’t been made any easier for Chris Coleman’s side, with the injuries mounting up and the number of withdrawals hitting double figures, with players such as Aaron Ramsey, James Collins and Joe Allen all pulling out.
The importance of those players hasn’t been lost on some of the raiding party with Bosnia defender Josip Kvesic saying it how it is recently:
“The team and I expect to win all six points in the next two games against Wales, and Belgium, who are a much better team than Wales to be honest”.
Victory for the confident centre back can be backed at 23/20, while its 2/1 for a draw, and it’s 12/5 for a Welsh win.
Backing Bosnia to get retribution for a shock defeat to Cyprus does tempt, but Ladbrokes News’ Ben Stones has three better bets to get involved in at the Cardiff City Stadium.
Undoubtedly Wales’ main man, Bale has scored 12 goals in his last 20 appearances for his nation, making up nearly half of the Red Dragons’ total in that period, and looks set to lead the line again.
He comes into this in great form having given his country victory with a brace against Andorra last time out and has so far found the net five times for Real Madrid this season.
As highlighted by Josip Kvesic’s quote coming into this fixture, Bosnia are confident of righting their wrongs of Cyprus last month.
‘Zmajevi’ (also ‘The Dragons’) went through a purple patch on the road last year, racking up four away wins from five trips, that solitary defeat coming against Argentina.
While a lot of the focus may be on Manchester City’s Edin Dzeko, the value surely lies in his strike partner getting on the scoresheet in a Bosnia win.
The Stuttgart man has scored three goals in his last two games for his country and is more than capable of troubling Wayne Hennessey in the Welsh goal.
While we fancy an away win in the Welsh capital, Safet Susic’s side may have to wait for their break through.
Chris Coleman’s side have gone into the break on level terms in four of their last five contests, and could try and stifle Bosnia, who will be one of the favourites for automatic qualification from the group, early on.
In the end though, it will probably be to no avail, as we believe with the sheer weight of injuries in the squad, even Gareth Bale won’t be able to prevent defeat.
All odds and markets correct as of the date of publishing
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