Bosnia & Herzegovina v Wales Preview

2016 Euro Qualifier | Saturday 10 October | Bilino polje | 20:45




The international break sees the resumption of the 2016 UEFA Euro Qualifiers. With just two matches to go for most teams, it’s do or die for a place in France next year. Group B sees a vital clash between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Wales. Bosnia need maximum points against Wales and then Cyprus in their final match to claim third spot in the group that will qualify them for a play-off to get into the finals. Log leaders Wales need just a point to qualify for the Euro for the first time in their nation’s history.

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To Win (90mins)
Bosnia and Herz. 8/10
Draw 23/10
Wales 32/10

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina lie fourth in Group B, seven points off Wales, six points off Belgium but two points adrift of third place Israel. The top two from each group automatically qualify for next year’s Euro but Bosnia are still in with a shot as a third place finish could qualify them for a play-off match against one of the other seven best third placed sides.

That means maximum points are needed for the Bosnian’s and their manager sounds confident in his team’s ability to get them against Wales. The outspoken former Yugoslavia international Mehmed Bazdarevic told the assembled media in Zenica: "We have the strength and quality and we are the better team than Wales." In the year since they impressed against the likes of Argentina and Nigeria at the 2014 World Cup, Bosnia have dropped from 19th to 30th in the FIFA rankings, while Wales have soared to a record-breaking eighth spot.

The Dragons could be boosted by the return to fitness of Lazio left-back Senad Lulic and more importantly Roma striker Edin Dzeko. Dzeko has been out of action since suffering a twisted knee during his club's 5-1 win over Carpi on September 26. At the time the Serie A club announced that the 29-year-old would be sidelined for between three to four weeks but, following a conversation with Dzeko, Bazdarevic believes his country's all-time top goalscorer will play a part in Zenica.



Wales

Wales are ready for excitement levels to hit a perfect 10 when they face Bosnia on Saturday knowing a draw will guarantee qualification for Euro 2016. Under manager Chris Coleman, Wales have risen to a record high eighth in the FIFA world rankings, having defeated Belgium and remained unbeaten throughout the qualifying process.

Gareth Bale has been the inspirational figure in Wales’ recent exploits. The Real Madrid attacker has been directly involved in eight of Wales’ nine goals, scoring six of them to take his nation closer to their first major tournament since the 1958 World Cup. On Monday he was named Wales’ Players’ Player of the Year, the Fans’ Player of the Year, and the FAW Player of the Year at an event in Cardiff’s City Hall. He had been suffering from a calf injury but came on in the 66th minute at Atletico Madrid on Sunday, and confirmed he would be fit for the potentially history-making clash against Bosnia.

As well as the positive Bale bulletin, Coleman has been able to welcome Joe Allen back into his squad after the Liverpool midfielder missed last month’s double-header against Cyprus and Israel. Swansea captain Ashley Williams is arguably The Dragons’ second most influential player as he has been ever-present in a defence that has conceded only twice during the campaign, both set pieces.

Betting Verdict: Draw 23/10
Both dubbed “The Dragons”, one mythical creature has been on the upward curve while the other has steadily slipped down the slope. The reverse fixture ended in a 0-0 stalemate and with home advantage Bosnia will be expecting the win this time. However, Wales won’t want to leave qualification lingering for any longer - with their last match at home to Albania - and are tipped to play for the draw that will guarantee them their first Euro appearance.

Written by Wayde Dorkin for @Hollywoodbets. Follow them both on Twitter and Facebook now!


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