Another Bale Out For Wales
Wales v Bosnia-Herzegovina
Wales look to make it two wins from two when they take on top seeds Bosnia & Herzegovina in Cardiff this Friday…
Wales were made to work hard for their opening match win in Andorra as they came back from conceding from an early penalty to win 2-1 thanks to a couple of Gareth Bale strikes.
The Real Madrid man showed why he cost the Spanish giants so much money by almost singlehandedly guiding his country to the three points. Firstly dragging his team back level and then in the final 10 minutes scoring a world-class free kick.
The result means that Wales have now lost only one – away to Holland – of their last six international fixtures, while they are also unbeaten in their last three home games. Bale has scored three times in his last two games for his country and has six goals for Real Madrid this season.
Bosnia & Herzegovina, by contrast, began their Euro 2016 qualification campaign with a shock 2-1 defeat at home to Cyprus. Safet Sušić’s side had looked impressive in the World Cup, despite exiting at the group stages, and would have expected to comfortably secure a top two qualification spot in Euro 2016 qualifying Group B. However, even at this early stage of proceedings this match against Wales takes on great significance.
Vedad Ibisevic gave Bosnia the lead in their match against Cyprus, adding to the brace he had scored a few days earlier in a friendly against Liechtenstein and the one that he scored against Argentina in the World Cup.
Bale was able to guide his side to victory against Andorra, but against a more classy opposition such as Bosnia & Herzegovina he’ll need some assistance from his peers. And with Joe Allen and Aaron Ramsey both out injured the Welsh do not have a bank of talent to call upon.
Former Bosnia captain Emir Spahic announced his international retirement after the World Cup, but sharply changed his mind after watching the Cyprus defeat. His return may be delayed by a back injury, however, while full back Avdija Vrsajevic is also a doubt due to a knee injury.
The two sides have met twice previously in international friendlies, the first of which ending in a 2-2 draw back in 2003. Most recently it was Bosnia & Herzegovina who emerged victorious with goals from Ibisevic and Miroslav Stevanovic giving The Dragons a 2-0 win.
On the face of things Wales look outstanding value at odds of 9/4 to take all three points. However, when considering the absence of Ramsey and Allen and the consequential over reliance on Bale we have to take a step back and reconsider.
Bale’s presence alone, however, gives Chris Coleman’s side a chance, particularly against an out-of-sorts Bosnia & Herzegovina, and so the 5/4 about the home side in the Draw No Bet market is my play.
In the Anytime Goalscorer market, Bale also represents value at odds of 8/5, while Ibisevic at odds of 13/8 in the same market is a much better bet than the 13/10 being offered on Edin Dzeko.