Wales welcome Belarus to the Cardiff City Stadium in World Cup Qualifying Group E on Saturday.
The Dragons have a fantastic opportunity to qualify for next year’s World Cup with a win here. Rob Page has named a strong 28 man squad for the upcoming games.
The hosts currently sit third in the group, level on points with Czech Republic. The Czechs have played one additional game though and a win in this could be huge for Wales.
Wales went unbeaten in the September internationals. They beat Belarus 3-2, but then disappointingly drew 0-0 with Estonia next time out.
They then faced Czech Republic last month, and fought out a competitive 2-2 draw. Their final international last month came away to Estonia.
A solo Kieffer Moore goal was enough to give Wales the three points. That puts them in pole position to take the second qualifying spot. However, that needs to start with a win in this game.
Belarus are on a rough run of form. They’ve lost their last seven consecutive games, conceding 19 goals and scoring just three.
They did manage to hold Belgium to a 1-0 defeat back in September. They were also only beaten 2-0 by Czech Republic last time out.
Wales should win this game, but it’s by no means guaranteed. It took a 93rd minute goal from Gareth Bale to come back from 2-1 down last time they met.
Below, we’ll preview this World Cup qualifying fixture and provide our predictions, the team news, our recommended bets and more…
Wales vs Belarus Predictions
In their last 20 matches, Wales have lost on five occasions. However, those five losses have come against England, Belgium, France, Italy and Denmark.
There’s no shame at all in being beaten by any of those teams. Despite being dominated in the game against Italy, they held their own and were only beaten 1-0 in the end.
The last game against Belarus was somewhat surprising. After Wales took the lead through an early Gareth Bale strike, it looked like The Dragons would dominate.
Belarus came roaring back though and turned the game around. Two goals in two minutes had Wales shell shocked and saw the Belarussians go into half time ahead.
That seemed to light a fire under Wales and they came flying out in the second half. Bale scored again to equalise in the 69th minute, before completing his hattrick in the final seconds of the game.
Wales would undoubtedly prefer not to have to rely on Bale’s brilliance again in this game. Rob Page will surely set up his side to win the game as comfortably as possible.
The official FIFA World Rankings have Wales way ahead of Belarus. The Welsh currently sit in 11th place in the rankings, with Belarus in 95th position.
The last game between these probably wasn’t an accurate representation of that gulf. However this time around, in front of their own fans, Wales are expected to win this well.
The visitors will do their best to frustrate the Welsh. But the home side definitely have more quality in their squad and will cause problems throughout the 90 minutes.
Read on for our Wales v Belarus predictions and best bets.
Wales vs Belarus Head to Head
These two nations have met on six previous occasions in the past. Wales have five wins to their name, with Belarus winning the other.
Wales won the first game back in 1998 by a 3-2 scoreline, followed by a 2-1 win in 1999. Unfortunately for both countries, they finished last and second to last and failed to qualify for Euro 2000.
They were then drawn together again for World Cup 2002 qualifying. Belarus won the first game 2-1, but Wales avenged that result with a 1-0 win. Again, both nations failed to qualify.
Wales hosted Belarus in an international friendly back in September 2019. A first half Dan James strike was enough to earn a 1-0 win for the Welsh.
The last, and most recent, meeting came in September this year. Wales ran out 3-2 winners and a similar result here would be welcomed.
Wales Team News – W D D W D
Rob Page is expected to name a similar starting XI as the one that played Estonia back in September. That would see Danny Ward retain his place in goal for the hosts.
Chris Mepham and Ethan Ampadu are expected to start the game in the centre of defence. Chris Gunter will start at right back, with Tottenham’s Ben Davies at left back.
Joe Allen will start in midfield. Aaron Ramsey has been named in the squad and could be risked from the start by Page. Harry Wilson will complete the midfield trio.
Kieffer Moore is expected to lead the attacking line, with Dan James on the right and Gareth Bale on the left.
Bale hasn’t played any football since the game with Estonia, but has recovered from injury and is training. Page hinted that the Real Madrid forward could start this game and that’s expected to be the case.
Belarus Team News – L L L L L
The visitors will want to frustrate Wales and keep the game tight for as long as possible. Our Wales v Belarus predictions expect Sergey Chernik to start the game in goal.
Sachivko and Khadarkevich will start in the centre of defence. Zolotov will get the nod at left back, with Shvetsov starting at right back.
Klimovich, Bykov and Ebong are expected to start in a central midfield trio. Sedko will be asked to play on the left, with Begunov on the right. The midfield will be vital in Belarus’ chances of frustrating Wales.
Lisakovich will lead the attacking line for the visiting side. The 23 year old was on the scoresheet the last time these teams met.
Wales vs Belarus Betting Tips
The home side are unsurprisingly the favourites to win this game. Rob Page’s men are priced up at 2/9 in our Wales v Belarus match bets.
A draw would not be the ideal result for Wales, given that they play Belgium next. However, if you think Belarus can hold the hosts, you can back the draw at 9/2.
With such a poor run of form behind them, Belarus are expected to struggle. That’s reflected in the odds and the traders have the visitors priced at 11/1 to win.
Wales are probably a little bit short in the match betting. So, we’ll scour the markets and find some alternative value.