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Wales 0-0 Albania: Home Fans Return In Friendly Draw Before

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Wales fans finally returned to the stands after 18 months away. However, their team could not break down a resolute Albania in a match that ended in a barren draw. That was Wales‘ final friendly match before heading for the Euro 2020. If you are planning to wager on matches during Euro 2020, consider taking advantage of Paddy Power Free bets on the sportsbook’s platform. One of the best-known brands in iGaming and, as such, it offers a variety of services. You must also start changing your betting strategy now that fans are slowly returning to the stadiums.

During the friendly match, only 6500 fans were allowed into the Cardiff City Stadium. Despite their limited number, their enthusiasm was evident as their noise was full house. The home side struggled during the first half after putting in a lackluster performance.

However, at half-time, the coach brought in striker Kieffer Moore who gave Wales the much-needed attacking impetus. Their attacking threat almost bore fruit as Neco Williams forced Albania keeper Gentian Selmani into an excellent save.

Wales’ improved performance in the second half was not enough to engineer a win. They lacked the quality to break down a sharp Albanian team ranked 49 places below them by FIFA in the global rankings.

A win for Wales would have given them the momentum needed to overcome Switzerland in the opening match at the Euro 2020. Luckily, they avoided late injuries, and some of their players also received a significant workout.

Eventually, the match will be remembered for the return of the fans. The last time Wales had played in front of their fans was during their 2-0 win over Hungary in November 2019. It is that win that confirmed their spot in the European Championship.

The global health pandemic that caused the tournament to be pushed forward also denied the fans a chance to follow their team. Therefore, this reunion was one that set the hearts of the fans and the players racing. However, despite having the backing of a rousing atmosphere, the Wales team featuring many new faces started slowly.

Interim manager Robert Page took the opportunity to experiment with the squad ahead of the Switzerland game. For example, he played Juventus midfielder Aaron Ramsey as a false nine. Ramsey did not seem to adapt to his new position and dropped deeper into more familiar areas. Moreover, the other players also seemed not to understand their roles in the 3-4-3 formation.

The result was not very important. The purpose of the match was to fine-tune team tactics and improve player fitness, especially Ramsey and captain Ben Davies who are working their way back from injury.

However, the coach might be forced to stick with the 4-2-3-1 formation as the players looked more assured in this formation. Nevertheless, there was no real threat from the home side apart from a long-range effort by Williams.

The match gave Page a lot to look into as he works on his Euro 2020 tactics. Additionally, even though it was more of a fitness-building match, it will also be remembered as the match that marked the return of fans into the stadium.