Ryan Giggs looked confident when he addressed the media ahead of the crunch game against Croatia. HIs captain Gareth Bale was in the same mood as the Real Madrid striker reiterated that his team is more than capable of upsetting the visitors at Cardiff City Stadium.
Two wins, one draw and two defeats – that’s how Wales have performed in the European Qualification rounds so far. They are currently outside the top-two but have a game-in-hand over their rivals. If the hosts win here, they could claim the 2nd spot from Slovakia.
Croatia, meanwhile, are leading the group with 13 points from six games. They are on a four-game unbeaten streak heading into this match and come into this match fresh off a 3-0 win over Hungary.
The European Qualifiers match will be played between Wales and Croatia at Cardiff City Stadium, in Leckwith area of Cardiff, Wales. The ground has a capacity of 33,280.
The game will start at 12:15 AM (IST), on Monday, October 14.
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Recent form (Last six matches)
Wales – W L L W W D
Croatia – L W L W D W
Wales Team News:
Aaron Ramsey stayed behind in Wales while his teammates traveled to Trnava to take on Slovakia. The Juventus playmaker is yet to feature for Wales in this qualifying campaign, with an abductor injury keeping him out from the action. Though the ex-Arsenal star has been a regular fixture in Maurizio Sarri’s team of late, he complained of a pain in his thigh in Juventus’ 1-2 win over Inter Milan last weekend.
Head coach Ryan Giggs said he would give Ramsey all the time to prove his match fitness ahead of this game.
Wigan striker Kieffer Moore picked up a knock in the 1-1 draw against Slovakia and will be monitored before the game.
Giggs also confirmed that Jonny Williams and Ethan Ampadu are fit to start the match against Croatia.
If Moore fails to shake off his injury in time, Harry Wilson could start the game for the hosts. In that case, Gareth Bale will move into a central position upfront.
Wales to choose from:
Goalkeepers: Danny Ward, Adam Davies, Wayne Hennessey
Defenders: Neil Taylor, Connor Roberts, Chris Mepham, Chris Gunter, Ashley Williams, Ben Davies, Tom Lockyer, Joe Rodon
Midfielders: Harry Wilson, Matthew Smith, Will Vaulks, Ethan Ampadu, Aaron Ramsey, Joe Allen, Jonny Williams, Joe Morrell
Attackers: Daniel James, Gareth Bale, Rabbi Matondo, Kieffer Moore, Sam Vokes, Tom Lawrence, Tyler Roberts
Wales Probable XI:
Hennessey (GK), Roberts, Lockyer, Rodon, Davies, Ampadu, Allen, Wilson, Williams, James, Bale
Croatia FC Team News:
Croatia will be without Marcelo Brozovic in this game. The 26-year-old Inter Milan midfielder will be serving a one-game ban here following his third booking of the campaign against Hungary.
Chelsea star Mateo Kovacic is likely to come to replace Brozovic in the playing 11.
Croatia to choose from:
Goalkeepers: Lovre Kalinić, Dominik Livaković, Simon Sluga
Defenders: Domagoj Vida, Dejan Lovren, Tin Jedva, Borna Barišić, Karlo Bartolec, Mile Škorić, Dario Melnjak, Dino Perić
Midfielders: Luka Modrić, Ivan Rakitić, Mateo Kovačić, Milan Badelj, Mario Pašalić, Nikola Vlašić, Filip Bradarić
Attackers: Ivan Perišić, Ante Rebić, Josip Brekalo, Bruno Petković, Mislav Oršić
Croatia Probable XI:
Livakovic (GK), Jedvaj, Lovren, Vida, Barisic, Modric, Brozovic, Rakitic, Perisic, Rebic, Petkovic
Likely to score:
Captain and Vice-Captain Selection:
Luke Modric: Not many midfielders have the technical nuance and the natural abilityon the ball than the 2018 Ballon d’Or winner.
Gareth Bale: Has been in exceptional form of late, and it tells a great deal about his indomitable will that Madrid ad Zidane both wanted to ship him out this summer, but he stayed back and is now the most in-form player in Madrid.
Daniel James: Manchester United’s young Welshman draws a comparison from his manager and United legend Ryan Giggs. It’s too early to compare him with the true great but the signs are he can be a future star.
Joe Allen: The former Liverpool midfielder goes under the radar for his unselfishness. But he is a regular fixture in Giggs’ team.
Ivan Perisic: Made a summer switch to Bayern Munich. Can play either on the left-wing or as a playmaker. He is in good form as well, especially in the European qualifiers.
CRO vs WAL Dream11 potential winner:
Croatia should at least get a draw here.