WALES have already secured their place at Euro 2016 but will they sign off in style? Mark O’Haire (@MarkOHaire) takes a look at the best bets.
Wales v Andorra | Tuesday 19.45 | Sky Sports 1
Well done Wales! Fifty-seven years of hurt has finally ended and Dragons fans can look forward to a holiday in France next summer with Chris Coleman’s men finally reaching another major tournament finals.
Rewind 13 months and you’d have been given long odds on Wales securing automatic qualification in this pool. Alongside World Cup participants Belgium and Bosnia, the Dragons opened their account with a far from convincing 2-1 win in Andorra.
However, Coleman’s charges have stuck to their task magnificently and grown in confidence and stature with each fixture. Despite their 2-0 defeat in Bosnia, Cyprus’ win in Israel was enough to secure their top-two finish deeming Tuesday night’s showdown with no-hopers a little meaningless.
Understandably, Welsh players and supporters will have been knocking back the beers and champagne as they celebrated qualification over the weekend but even a hungover Dragons side should prove too good for the minnows at Cardiff City Stadium.
The visitors sit rock bottom of the group with a -30 goal difference having been beaten in all nine of their qualifiers. Go beyond the pool and Andorra have lost all bar one of their previous 67 matches and all of their most recent 32 away days dating back to 2003. In 31 of those encounters, Andorra failed to even score a goal whilst conceding on average nearly five goals-per-game.
Arguably even more alarming is Andorra’s average loss-rate when on the road. The minnows have suffered 25 of those 32 reverses by a margin of four goals or more. The nation sitting at 205 in FIFA’s world rankings have conceded exactly three or four goals in each of their last five qualifiers so a repeat should be well within range of the hosts.
The Dragons were unbeaten in eight before their weekend defeat in Bosnia but just once in their past 41 meaningful matches have Wales scored more than twice in a game. Of course, that presents risks to any potential handicap punt with Coleman’s troops enjoying the party atmosphere and probably taking their foot off the gas.
So instead it may pay to go under the goals line. Stan James have set the line at 4.5 so, if like me, you feel a Welsh side that’s a little underprepared and ready to enjoy the carnival atmosphere won’t be at full throttle, backing Under 4.5 Goals at 10/11 may appeal.
Wales v Andorra- Under 4.5 Goals (10/11 Stan James)
Qualified or not, Chris Coleman’s side should show their mettle against the no-hopers on Tuesday.
At a best price 1/20, you won’t get rich quick backing the Dragons. But Betfair are offering new customers the chance to back the hosts at a huge 3/1!