After having to settle for just a point out in Slovakia on Thursday, Wales are now in a real race against time if they’re to pull of a fight back and secure an automatic route to next year’s European Championships.
With just three Group E matches left to play, The Dragon’s face another unenviable task when league leaders Croatia make the trip to the Cardiff City Stadium on Sunday night.
While Wales might be chasing down a three-point deficit to that lucrative second spot, Sunday’s guests find themselves within touching distance of securing a route to EURO 2020.
Last year’s World Cup finalists are coming off the back of a thumping 3-0 win over Hungary on home soil in midweek and now hold their own three-point buffer at the top of Group E.
You might be interested to know that with Croatia picking up a 2-1 victory over Ryan Giggs’ men back in June, The Blazers can be found at 6/4 with Ladbrokes to secure back-to-back victories over Wales this weekend.
Wales in need of a response
Although Thursday’s trip to Slovakia was billed as a must-win encounter in Group E, Ryan Giggs’ men could only a muster a 1-1 draw on foreign soil and they now find themselves in a real battle to secure a top-two finish.
With Thursday’s result dropping Wales down to fourth, behind both Slovakia and Hungary, the former Manchester United icon now finds his men priced at 4/5 with Bet365 to clinch an automatic route to next year’s European Championships.
While they may have had to settle for just a point last time out, there is no doubt that the Reds will be glad to make a return to home soil this weekend.
Including picking up a 1-0 win over Belarus in a friendly contest last month, Wales have won all of their previous four matches in the capital and Giggs’ side can be found at 21/10 with Coral to come out on top this weekend.
Sadly for fans around Cardiff, Wales will once again be unable to call upon midfield talisman, Aaron Ramsey.
Not yet to feature in any of The Dragons’ Group E appearances so far, the Juventus man has had to withdraw from the squad due to an injury picked up out in Milan last week.
Croatia within touching distance
Picking up a 3-0 win over fellow qualifying hopefuls Hungary last week, the mood in The Blazers’ camp should be on a high after picking up their best Group E result so far.
With Wales and Slovakia having to settle for a point in midweek, Head Coach Zlatko Dalić now finds his side holding a three-point buffer at the top of the group and firmly sat in pole position.
It is no surprise that last year’s World Cup finalists are already priced as low as 1/4 with Bet365 to secure Top Spot in Group E come next month.
One man to watch out for in Cardiff this weekend will be the red-hot Bruno Petković.
Bagging a brace against Hungary last time out and also once again adding to his tally for Dinamo Zagreb prior to the international break, the 25-year-old has three in his last three Group E appearances and can be found at 21/10 with William Hill to extend that tally this weekend.
Elsewhere, there is no doubt that Dalić will be looking for his men to make some rather drastic improvements on foreign soil.
Croatia have won just one of their last seven matches on the road and have recorded just a single away clean sheet since June 2018.