24 March 2019
Wales’ European Championship qualifiers get underway with a home clash with Slovakia that will take place at the Cardiff City Stadium.
The hosts go into this meeting off the back of a narrow 1-0 home win over Trinidad and Tobago in a friendly challenge that has seen them snap a two-game losing streak. After failing to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, the Dragons have continued to struggle in the UEFA Nations League, finishing as runners-up in Group B/4 behind Denmark. Ryan Giggs’ men are not exactly enjoying a purple patch having lost four of six of their previous encounters (W2, L4). Both Wales’ triumphs in that period have ended in the identical 1-0 scoreline, with the Dragons conceding 2+ match goals in three of four failures. Another potential worry for Giggs could be Wales’ immense problems in the final third that have seen the struggle to bag over 1.5 goals per match in eight of their last nine games.
On the other hand, the visitors have started their journey off on the right foot, battling out a comfortable 2-0 home win over Hungary. Same as their rivals, the Falcons have miserably failed in the UEFA Nations League, finishing bottom of Group B/1 behind Ukraine and the Czech Republic, with a record of one win and three losses. Far more comfortable on home soil, Pavel Hapal’s men have lost on six of their last seven road trips (D1, L6), scoring one goal or less on each. Interestingly, all six of their losses in that period have seen them losing by a narrow 1-goal margin. Still, an encouraging fact for Hapal is that his side secured two wins in their last three outings (W2, L1), netting 2+ match goals in both successes.
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