Wales and the Czech Republic couldn’t be separated on Friday as they played out an entertaining 2-2 draw, leaving the two sides locked on points behind runaway group leaders Belgium. The Dragons do still hold a game in hand, but given that’s against FIFA’s number one ranked side, second spot remains in the balance.
There’ll be a sense of disappointment for Robert Page’s men as in truth they created the better chances in Prague and were consistently lively on the counter-attack, despite the absence of star man Gareth Bale.
Daniel James was too ponderous in releasing Kieffer Moore, before Aaron Ramsey opened the scoring, with Wales quickly pegged begged back and then finding themselves trailing after Danny Ward’s horrendous gaffe.
However, Harry Wilson gave a fine performance from the bench to hand the attack an injection, setting up James’ equalizer and then creating an opportunity for Ramsey.
Moore’s header at the back post couldn’t be converted, but there were encouraging signs for a side that often struggled to create enough chances to turn draws into wins.
Wales To Win And Under 2.5 Goals
Indeed, Wales have only won twice in 10 matches now, drawing half of these, including goalless stalemates with weaker outfits Albania, Finland and Estonia themselves. One team or the other has failed to score in 18 of their past 23 fixtures, with 19 of their past 26 fixtures featuring a maximum of two goals, while 12 of 21 since the start of 2020 have seen no more than a single strike.
Estonia haven’t been involved in too many high-scoring affairs of late either, with six of their past eight appearances featuring fewer than three goals, as one of the exceptions came when getting tanked by Belgium.
They have enjoyed a positive start to this round of internationals, leapfrogging Belarus with a win on Friday, though it doesn’t realistically put them in the picture for qualification.
The hosts are unlikely to take the game to Wales and that posses a problem for the visitors, who excel better with space to exploit on the break.
In 10 games where Gareth Bale has played just 45 minutes or less since 2019, Wales are W4-D5-L1. They registered eight clean sheets across these, but with four goalless stalemates and four 1-0 victories, they may struggle to get a dominating win.
Wales are W4-D4-L4 in away games since October 2019, though the four defeats were inflicted by elite outfits England, Belgium, France and Italy.
Given the Czech Republic’s only dropped points so far have been against Belgium and Wales, Robert Page’s men need to be winning games like this if they’re to make second place in the end.
10 of their past 12 victories have come by 1-0 or 2-0 scorelines, and they should have enough to just shade this contest.
WALES TO WIN AND UNDER 2.5 GOALS