Wales head to Euro 2020 with the hopes of recreating their 2016 heroics, where they reached the semi-finals of the competition.
Wales have a settled squad and come into the Euros in good form. They have won four of their last five matches and lost just once in eight internationals, a 3-1 loss against top-ranked side Belgium.
Despite their solid form on the international stage, there are still question marks over the future of manager Ryan Giggs, who missed the November and March internationals after his arrest last year. Interim manager Robert Page has guided Wales to four wins from six matches, but whether he will be in charge for Euro 2020 is still unclear. This uncertainty surrounding the squad is affecting the odds for the Welsh side at sites like online-betting.jp ahead of such a pivotal tournament for the nation.
On the pitch, Wales have built a consistent team, with a clear philosophy based around a 3-4-2-1 formation.
A back three of Sheffield United’s Chris Mepham, Tottenham’s Joe Rondon and either Ben Davies, Chris Gunter or James Lawrence is Wales’ preferred option. These defenders have contributed to five clean sheets in Wales’ last eight internationals. Ben Davies, however, has been absent for Spurs recently with a calf injury, which could affect his chances of making the squad in June.
In midfield, the likes of Joe Allen, Ethan Ampadu, Jonny Williams, Aaron Ramsey and Harry Wilson will be competing for a place in the starting line-up. Ampadu, Allen and Ramsey are the more likely to start in a central midfield two for Wales at the Euros.
However, Allen suffered a cruciate injury in Wales’ 1-0 win over the Czech Republic in March, and he may not recover in time for the Euros. Juventus midfielder Aaron Ramsey is also injured with a thigh injury and missed Wales’ World Cup qualifiers last month. He also faces a race against time to recover before the opening match against Switzerland on June 12.
Tottenham winger Gareth Bale and Manchester United starlet Dan James have provided the attacking outlet for Wales. The pair have been in excellent form for their country, with a combined seven goals or assists in their last five appearances. Bale also remains captain, and his form will be key to a successful campaign.
In attack, Cardiff duo Kiefer Moore and Harry Wilson will battle amongst each other for the lone striker role. Moore has scored 16 goals for the Bluebirds in the Championship this season, while Wilson has only scored four goals, but assisted 12. If either striker can end the 2020/21 season in good form, they could work their way in Giggs’ or Page’s plans for the Euros.
Wales are joined in Group A by Italy, Turkey and Switzerland. Italy are 7th in the FIFA World Rankings, the highest-ranked team in Group A. Roberto Mancini’s side are the favourites to progress and come into the Euros on the back of a 25-match unbeaten run.
Switzerland will also be a tough opponent. They are 13th in the World rankings and have won their last four internationals. However, Wales did beat Switzerland 2-0 in their most recent meeting in 2011, just their second win in seven matches.
Turkey are the lowest-ranked team in Group A. They sit 29th in the World rankings but enter the Euros in good form. Turkey have been hard to beat recently and have lost once in their last 10 internationals. But six of these matches have ended in a draw.
Wales face tough opposition in Euro 2020. But their consistent form could give them an edge in a competitive group. They are a hard side to beat and will take inspiration from the 2016 Wales side, who beat Belgium, Russia, Slovakia and Northern Ireland to reach the semi-finals – the nation’s best-ever run in a major tournament.