World Cup qualifier: Wales v Serbia match preview - International - Football - The Independent

World Cup qualifier: Wales v Serbia match preview

A look ahead to tonight's World Cup qualifier at the Cardiff City Stadium

In the previous meeting between Wales and Serbia, Chris Coleman’s side were on the end of an embarrassing 6-1 thrashing. So the 43-year-old’s team talk could simply be based around revenge as they welcome the Serbs to the Cardiff City Stadium.

How revenge could be achieved however, with a squad so ‘thin on the ground’ – as Coleman put it – will be a mammoth task for such an inexperienced side. Wales will be missing the rock of their defence and influential captain Ashley Williams through suspension, Crystal Palace’s Jonny Williams has been ruled out by a groin strain and Wolves defender Sam Ricketts is now also a doubt after suffering a knock against Macedonia on Friday.

Should the Serbs continue where they left off against the Welsh last September, the biggest frustration for supporters will be to see the most expensive player in history warming the substitutes bench, with Coleman already confirming that Bale will not be starting. Real Madrid’s new acquisition was the only scorer for Wales in the 6-1 defeat with a trademark free kick and is top scorer for his country in the qualifiers.

 

Past Meetings:

11 September 2012: Serbia 6-1 Wales

(The two have only met once before)

 

Stats:

Wales have not won a match in Group A without Gareth Bale being on the pitch

The 6-1 defeat to Serbia in September 2012 was Wales heaviest defeat since 1996

Wales have conceded more goals from outside the box than any other European side qualifying for the 2014 World Cup.

 

Odds:

Wales win – 2.87

Serbia win – 2.45

Draw – 3.2

 

TV: Live on Sky Sports 1 at 7.45pm

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