GARETH Bale saved Wales from an embarrassing result in Andorra as they opened their qualifying campaign for Euro 2016 with a win. How will they fare back on home soil against a highly-fancied Bosnia side?
Wales v Bosnia | 19.45 | Sky Sports 5
You’ve got to go back to 1976 for the last time Wales reached a European Championship but the Dragons will have their eyes on the prize of reaching France 2016 having been handed a manageable group. But Friday night’s match-up with Bosnia will give Chris Coleman’s side a stern test of their credentials.
Bosnia arrive in the capital after suffering the ignominy of a 2-1 home defeat to Cyprus last month – that defeat was and remains the biggest upset in betting terms of the 2014/15 season. And that shock reverse means the visitors need for three points should drive them on to bounce back.
Safet Susic’s side are no stranger to collecting results on the road – Bosnia have won seven of an unbeaten eight-game streak away from home. Away results during World Cup qualification were incredibly impressive. Bosnia smashed Liechtenstein 8-1, demolished Latvia 5-0, beat Lithuania 1-0, Slovakia 2-1 and held Greece 0-0 in Athens. And it wasn’t as if they were overrun by Cyprus last time out – Susic’s men utterly dominated proceedings.
With Wales having lost five of their last 11 in front of their home fans and Coleman facing a long injury list including the likes of Aaron Ramsey and Joe Allen, Bosnia appear excellent value at 5/4 with BetVictor to get their campaign back on track with a win.
Just as appetising is the 6/5 on offer from SkyBet that there’s Over 2.5 Goals in the Cardiff meeting. Susic has long been admired for his attacking philosophy in charge of Bosnia and that’s resulted in plenty of high-scoring games; five of their most recent seven games featuring three goals or more.
And those trends marry up nicely with Wales’ records – five of the hosts’ last eight have seen Overs bank and four of their previous seven competitive games have also seen Over 2.5 Goals punters collect.
For those who are hunting something bigger, William Hill are dangling a very appealing 4/1 on a Bosnia win with Both Teams Scoring. With far worse 4/1 shots on the coupon, it might be worth sticking a throwaway quid on the bigger price.
Bosnia to win (5/4 BetVictor)
Bosnia win and Both Teams To Score (4/1 William Hill)