Wales vs USA
The Stars and Stripes arrive at the Liberty Stadium in Swansea on Thursday, aiming to dazzle their hosts who will be trying to keep a good run going in tricky circumstances.
The Welsh team has its problems coming into the game with leadership concerns both on and off the field. For this International Friendly: Wales vs USA, the Dragons will be guided by assistant Rob Page while their head coach Ryan Giggs helps Manchester police with a personal matter, and doubts over the fitness of key players won’t help Page’s case any.
The latest Wales vs USA betting odds slightly favour the hosts, but the USA have a clutch of players representing some of the top clubs in Europe, and with a short journey to Swansea they will be itching to show what they can do against a solid, and possibly distracted team.
Bale out for Wales?
While the manager’s domestic affairs have cast a grey cloud over the Wales vs USA news in the run-up to this game, the team would have hoped for leadership on the field and with Juventus midfielder Aaron Ramsay already withdrawn with a minor injury, there are now serious doubts over Spurs’ winger Gareth Bale.
He started in Tottenham’s recent match against strugglers West Brom but the 31-year-old limped off the pitch on 78 minutes and was seen with an ice pack on his ankle. His club boss Jose Mourinho has already expressed concerns that his English contingent may pick up injuries when they represent the Three Lions, and he will be furious if Bale is risked if not 100 per cent fit.
The Dragons desperately need some firepower, having won three of their four Nations League Group B4 games by a 1-0 score-line, with late goals on each occasion. Their only other competitive match in 2020 resulted in a goalless stalemate against the Republic of Ireland. They are top of the group and Wales can secure promotion with victories over Ireland and Finland next week.
Page is likely to rest Bale to give him a chance of playing in the big games to come.
Reyna takes the heat off Pulisic
If Wales are set to take the field in Swansea without their two biggest players, USA head coach Gregg Berhalter has no such problem. Chelsea’s Christian Pulisic has been the USA’s star player ever since he burst onto the scene in 2016, scoring 14 goals in 34 games, and the 22-year-old looks set to skipper the Stars and Stripes for years to come.
Pulisic has had a few injury niggles while he has adapted to the pace and physical aspects of life in the Premier League, but he is the focal point of the Blues’ title push. His outstanding ball control and turn of pace have already terrorised English defences, just as Eden Hazard did before his move to Real Madrid.
But over at Borussia Dortmund, where Pulisic made his name in European football, they have a new star in the shape of Gio Reyna. The attacking midfielder has already become a key member of the BVB first-team group as Die Schwarzgelben go head to head with FC Bayern in pursuit of the Bundesliga title. Die Bayern have the edge at the moment, but if Reyna continues his progression he’ll be a big part of BVB’s challenge. He’s already made three assists in the Bundesliga this season and won’t reach his 18th birthday until the day after this match against Wales. Reyna is sure to be one of a number of players Berhalter is preparing to blood and I expect to see him star in Swansea.
Red Bull Leipzig’s Tyler Adams is likely to start in midfield, while Wolfsburg’s defender John Brooks is a solid presence at centre back.
These two teams haven’t met since 2007 and so there is little meaningful head to head data to work on. So let’s take a look a recent form, which is pretty good in both cases.
The Dragons have lost just once in the last 11 matches while the USA come into the game on the back of wins against Canada, Cuba and Costa Rica.
|Wales vs USA||1X2 USA @ 3.10|
|November 13, 03:45 (GMT+8)|
The SBOTOP odds suggest the hosts should have the edge, with their recent run of form backing that up, but off-field distractions and big players missing could open the door for the USA.
Wales are at 2.26 to win and the draw is at 2.97, but I’m backing the visitors’ flair players, Pulisic and Reyna to have a good night.
|A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR () BETS ARE WORTH:|
|= €20 (Highly confident)||= €10 (CONFIDENT)||= €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)|
Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.
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