Wales face Russia at Stadium de Municipal in Toulouse on Monday, as both teams battle for the second spot in Group B for automatic qualification to the knock-out stages of the competition.
Russia is the only team in their group without a win as they drew their first game against England and later succumbed to a 1-2 defeat to Slovakia on Wednesday. Russia now hopes to pull off a strong win against the Welsh side, hoping Slovakia will lose to England in their final group stage game to give them the automatic qualification to the next round.
On the other hand, Wales lost 1-2 to England on Thursday at Stade de Bollaert and were highly disappointed with their performance. Gareth Bale put the Wales in front in the 42nd minute, but things changed in the second half as substitute Jamie Vardy found the equaliser and later a brilliant Sturridge later complete the come back deep into the stoppage time. Wales will hope to beat Russia and finish second in the group which will qualify them automatically for the tournament’s next stage.
Russia Team News:
Igor Denisov is the only players missing for Leonid Slutskiy in the must win Group B game against Wales.
Denis Glushakov, who scored against Slovakia coming off the bench in the second half could be handed a start ahead of Aleksandr Golovin.
Russia: Predicted Line-up (4-2-3-1)
Akinfeev – Smolnikov, Berezutski , Ignashevich, Schennikov – Golovin, Neustadter – Kokorin, Shatov, Smolov – Dzyuba .
Wales Team News:
Joe Ledley is a minor doubt after picking up a leg injury in the 2-1 defeat against England on Thursday evening.
Chris Coleman has no other fitness concerns in the squad and is likely to stick with the same eleven that started in their second group game.
Wales: Predicted Line-up (3-4-3)
Hennessey – Chester, Williams, Davies – Gunter, Ledley, Allen, Taylor – Ramsey, Robson-Kanu, Bale.
Russia vs Wales: Head-to-Head Stats
- Russia are unbeaten in the four meetings against Wales with three wins and a draw.
- The two teams first met twice in 2004 Euro championship play-offs were Russia eliminated Wales after a 0-0 result in Moscow and a 1-0 win at Cardiff in the return leg.
- They were grouped again in the 2010 World Cup qualifiers, Russia once again winning both fixtures 2-1 at home and 3-1 in the return leg.
- Russia are on a three match winning run against Wales.
Russia vs Wales: Prediction
Russia must win here to have any chance of progressing to the next round, while a draw will see Wales through the group. Both teams are heavily reliant on the result of Slovakia vs England match and therefore either teams will be looking for a win as anyone can finish in top three after full 90 minutes on Monday evening.
This is a tough match to predict and it is there for anyone to take. Wales looked like the better and settled team in their first two matches, while Russia are having plenty of problems in all departments.
Expect Wales to start in a defensive mode, while the Russians will be desperate pushing for goals. It is very likely that Bale and co. could punish them in the counter. Gareth Bale has already put two powerful free kicks in the back of the net and back him to score again is a good option.
1. Bale to score at any time.
2. Double Chance – Wales win/draw.
3. Over 2.5 goals.