UEFA Euro Qualifiers
Wales v Croatia
Time: 12:15 IST
Venue: Cardiff City Stadium
Wales face Croatia in the UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifiers Group E tie at Cardiff City Stadium, in Cardiff on Sunday.
The game is a must-win for the home side, who are fourth in the table with just seven points after five matches. However, a win Sunday can move them all the way to second, tied with Slovakia with only goal differential between them.
Wales are on a decent run of late, going unbeaten, including two wins, in their last three in the competition. Another result Sunday would put them in pole position for booking a place to next summer’s mega event.
Croatia have won four of the last five encounters between the sides, with Wales unable to earn three points in any match.
Probable playing XI:
Wales: Wayne Hennessey, Connor Roberts, Tom Lockyer, Joe Rodon, Ben Davies, Joe Allen, Harry Wilson, Aaron Ramsey, Kieffer Moore, Daniel James, Gareth Bale
Croatia: Dominik Livakovic, Tin Jedvaj, Dejan Lovren, Domagoj Vida, Borna Barisic; Luka Modric, Marcelo Brozovic, Ivan Rakitic; Ivan Perisic, Ante Rebic, Bruno Petkovic
Defender: Dejan Lovren is a seasoned campaigner, but hasn’t had much football this season for Liverpool, where he only featured in a single Premier League match and a single League Cup tie. Therefore, it will be interesting to see if the 30-year-old will be able to cope up with the pace of the likes of Gareth Bale and Daniel James, who will be eager to take advantage of an ageing defender.
Midfielder: Luka Modric is one of the best midfielders in the world, as evidenced by the fact he’s the current Ballon d’Or holder. However, the 34-year-old is having a pretty up and down season at Real Madrid, where he has struggled to keep himself fit and also made numerous errors which cost Los Blancos. Eyes will be on the veteran midfielder, who will be eager to respond to the critics with a stellar performance for his national team.
Forward: Gareth Bale has been in great form of late for Real Madrid, already scoring two goals and providing two assists in six league appearances. That performance is quite a turnaround considering the fact that the club did all they could to sell the 30-year-old during the recently concluded summer transfer window. However, Bale is once again in the news—this time with a report in the Spanish media—that he is now looking for a way out of the Santiago Bernabeu in the summer of 2020. Those words would’ve surely not gone down too well in the Spanish capital, and the former Tottenham Hotspur striker will be eager to put another stellar performance to prove his worth to the Real hierarchy Sunday.
Captain: Gareth Bale
Vice captain: Ivan Perisic