Football Football
Horse Racing Horse Racing
Cricket Cricket
Basketball Basketball
Golf Golf

Coleman’s Wales one point away from challenging the ‘big boys’ at Euro 2016

09 Oct | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
Coleman’s Wales one point away from challenging the ‘big boys’ at Euro 2016

The Dragons should impress in France next summer, but first they have to secure qualification against Bosnia-Herzegovina in Zenica on Saturday

One point is all that stands between Wales and history.

One point to banish the memories of agonising past campaigns and underwhelming generations.

The last time the Dragons experienced a major tournament was 1958. Now they are closer than ever to tasting that glory once again.

And it looks as though the rest of Europe is starting to take notice.

Manager Chris Coleman was quietly mocked when he recently described his side as “a danger to some of the big boys” of world football.

But with Italy, Spain and Germany refusing to play Wales in friendlies over the coming seven months, the 45-year-old might have a point.

This isn’t a Wales team out of their depth any more.

An undefeated qualification run including victory over a feted Belgium squad shows they are more than capable of mixing it with the classier teams of world football – even if their brand of play is more pragmatic than extravagant.

Next summer could be their coming of age.

With Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey in their prime, the experience of Ashley Williams at the back and talented emerging players like Ben Davies, this is a Welsh side that has the potential to impress.

There are always one or two surprise packages at tournaments and with the format for the 2016 European Championship extended to 24 teams, Wales have everything to be just that.

Many will write them off as being nothing more than Bale plus 10 other players.

And while the Real Madrid man is unquestionably the beating heart of his side’s attacking threat, it is a complete disservice to discount everyone else around him.

This is a team with genuine unity and solidity, one that shows the sort of togetherness usually reserved for inspirational sporting movies starring Al Pacino.

And with that alone, they are capable of giving any side in Europe a real game.

Firstly, though, is the small matter of securing not just their spot in the tournament, but top spot in Group B.

Bosnia-Herzegovina in Zenica are the opponents on Saturday night.

The home side boast big names who are more than capable of putting the party on hold: Vedad Ibisevic is 7/4 to score at any time, Milan Djuric is 11/4 and Miralem Pjanic is 3/1.

The Eastern Europeans have only lost once in their last six matches at home, but a tendency to concede means that Wales are in with a good chance of getting on the scoresheet.

Both teams to score and Bosnia to win is 16/5, with Wales at 15/2.

Conversely, Wales’ tight backline – they have conceded just twice in their last seven outings – suggests a particularly low-scoring affair, making a total of under 0.5 goals very intriguing at 14/5.

If there are to be goals, though, there looks to be only one man to get them.

Bale’s six qualifying goals equate to two-thirds of his country’s total, so it is little surprise that he is 5/1 to score the first goal and 7/4 to score any time.

Win on Saturday and it will be hard to ignore this Wales side much longer.

While they may not be contenders for the trophy next summer, few sides would want to be drawn in a group with them should they make it to Euro 2016.

Bosnia-Herzegovina v Wales betting

Euro 2016 betting

READ: The 8 key moments in Wales’ remarkable FIFA world rankings rise