MX23RW : Wednesday, July 28 09:06:06| >> :600:133139:133139:
Oct 13, 2015 at 7.45pm UK at Millennium Stadium
Ramsey (50'), Bale (86')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Preview: Wales vs. Andorra

Sports Mole previews Wales' final Euro 2016 qualifier against Andorra at the Cardiff City Stadium.

Wales will be in a celebratory mood when they host Andorra at the Cardiff City Stadium for their final Euro 2016 qualifier on Tuesday night.

Chris Coleman's side have secured their place in the finals of the major tournament for the first time in 58 years, while Andorra will only be playing for pride as they reside at the bottom of Group B.


Chris Coleman the Wales manager waves to the crowd during the UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying match between Wales and Belgium at the Cardiff City Stadium on June 12, 2015© Getty Images

The home fans will be bouncing in Cardiff tomorrow when Wales enter the field for their final qualifier knowing that their plane ticket to France is already secured for next summer.

Wales are not regarded as one of the heavyweights in international football as they have struggled to make a name for themselves over the years, but with a team that currently boasts the talents of Arsenal star Aaron Ramsey and Real Madrid's Gareth Bale, who is the most expensive footballer in history, Coleman's men had a shot at making the European Championships this time around.

The Dragons made a strong start to their qualifying campaign by going four games unbeaten in 2014, with two victories and as many draws, but goals were hard to come by for the team as they managed just four in those matches.

In 2015, Coleman's side went on a winning streak by winning three games on the trot, meaning that qualification from a group which included Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Israel, Cyprus and Andorra was in their sights, but they delayed the jubilant scenes by failing to score in a goalless draw with the Israelis.

On Saturday, Wales knew that their long wait for a major championship would come to an end if Israel suffered defeat, and even though Coleman's men lost 2-0 to Bosnia, their qualification was complete due to Cyprus' win on away turf.

While Wales have put in strong team displays throughout the qualifying process, it is difficult to imagine the nation being in this position had they not had Bale among their ranks.

The 26-year-old, who joined Madrid from Tottenham Hotspur in the summer of 2013 for a world-record £85m fee, has scored eight of Wales' nine goals in the campaign, and if he scores tonight, the attacker could help Wales finish top of Group B.

At this point, the nation's position in the standings is secondary in terms of importance, but should Wales win and Belgium drop points against Israel, then Coleman's side will top the group.

Wales' success has been an emotional one for the coaching staff and the players as the late Gary Speed, who died in 2011, laid the foundations for the team before Coleman succeeded him as manager.

Recent form: DWWWDL


Andorra's defender Ildefons Lima (C) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal during the Euro 2016 qualifying round football match Andorra against Wales on September 09, 2014© Getty Images

As mentioned above, the only thing left to play for from Andorra's point of view is pride given that they have failed to pick up a single point in their qualifying campaign.

In September last year, Koldo's side had a glimpse of hope when they took on Wales in their opening qualifier as Ildefons Lima slotted the ball home from the penalty spot in the sixth minute to give Andorra the lead on home turf.

However, that lead was short lived as Bale struck twice in the 22nd and 81st minute to take all three points, and given that Andorra will be on Welsh turf tomorrow evening, it will be much harder for them to cause an upset.

The campaign went downhill for Andorra from that first loss as they were heavily beaten by Belgium, who grabbed an emphatic 6-0 win, Israel and Cyprus before the year was out.

It was much of the same in 2015 as they suffered five defeats by three goals or more, their latest of which came on Saturday in the form of a 4-1 loss to Belgium.

The history books do not work in their favour as they have never won a competitive away game having drawn one and lost 44, and they have not picked up a point on the road since their goalless draw with Macedonia in February 2005.

Goals have also been elusive for Andorra as they have failed to find the back of the net in their last 13 away qualifiers and have only managed four goals in their entire qualifying campaign so far.

Recent form: LLLLLL
Recent form (all competitions): LLLLLL

Team News

Players of Wales national team (L-R) Aaron Ramsey, goalkeeper Almuth Schult, Gareth Bale and David Vaughan celebrate the Euro 2016 qualifying football match between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Wales at the Stadium Bilino Polje in Elbasan on October 10, 201© Getty Images

From a Wales point of view, none of the players will want to miss tomorrow's showdown as they perform in front of their fans knowing that they are on their way to Paris for next summer's finals.

Bale is expected to be the first name on the teamsheet given the contribution that he has made to Wales' campaign, however the Madrid star may not be used for the entire 90 minutes as he only recently returned from injury.

Ramsey, Joe Allen and Joe Ledley could keep their spots in the middle of the park, while captain Ashley Williams is expected to marshall the defence as usual.

With Andorra not expecting to get much out of tomorrow's game, the visitors could keep 19-year-old Lleida striker Aaron Sanchez up top alongside Sebastian Gomez, as well as playing a four-man midfield, including Oscar Sonejee and Marcio Vieira.

Wales possible starting lineup: Hennessey; Gunter, Williams, Davies, Richards, Taylor; Ramsey, Allen, Ledley; Robson-Kanu, Bale

Andorra possible starting lineup: Pol; Nicolas, Sola, Llovera, Garcia; Vieira, Rebes, Moreira, Sonejee; Gomez, Sanchez

Head To Head

These two sides do not have much of a history of meetings given that they have only played each other on one occasion, which was at the start of the qualifying campaign in September last year.

As mentioned, the match ended in a 2-1 victory for Wales, but had Bale failed to inspire a comeback after his side went 1-0 down in the sixth minute, perhaps the Dragons' qualifying campaign would have gone in a different direction, and Andorra's for that matter.

The goal for the home side in September's meeting was rather a landmark one as prior to that the team had gone 18 competitive games without scoring, which dated back to 2010.

Sports Mole Logo

We say: Wales 2-0 Andorra

The form books are 100% in Wales' favour given that they have suffered just one defeat in their qualifying campaign, while Andorra have not managed to win any of their matches in Group B. In addition, Andorra have lost all of their 49 European Championship games, so it would be a massive shock if they cause an upset at the Cardiff City Stadium. Spirits will be high when Wales take to the field tomorrow evening, and despite losing to Bosnia at the weekend, the sheer joy of reaching the Euro finals for the first time in 58 years is likely to push them to victory.

ID:252093: cacheID:252093:1false2false3false:QQ:: from db desktop :LenBod:restore:12255:
Restore Data
Share this article now:
Did you know...?
Players of Wales national team (L-R) Aaron Ramsey, goalkeeper Almuth Schult, Gareth Bale and David Vaughan celebrate the Euro 2016 qualifying football match between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Wales at the Stadium Bilino Polje in Elbasan on October 10, 201
Read Next:
Player Ratings: Bosnia-Herzegovina 2-0 Wales

rhs 2.0
Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
United StatesUnited States1010929
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia78419
Great BritainGreat Britain56415
Today's Olympic highlights header

Wednesday's key events

· Team GB have dominated the men's coxless fours in recent Olympics, winning on each of the last five occasions, but this year they face some stiff competition. They are one of four rowing medal contenders for Great Britain today (2.10am)

· Katie Ledecky and Ariarne Titmus face off again in the women's 200m freestyle final, with the latter having already come out on top in the 400m event (2.41am)
· Team GB's Abbie Wood is among the medal contenders in the women's 200m individual medley final, while teammate Alicia Wilson will also take part. USA's Kate Douglass was the fastest qualifier, while world and Olympic record holder Katinka Hosszu is also involved (3.45am)
· Katie Ledecky could make it two golds in one morning as she goes into the 1500m freestyle final as heavy favourite, having broken the Olympic record in qualifying (3.54am)
· Team GB were by far the fastest qualifiers for the men's 4x200m freestyle relay final and will therefore be favourites for another gold in the pool (4.26am)

· Team GB take on New Zealand in the first men's semi-final, having been beaten by reigning champions Fiji but then come from behind to overcome USA on day two (3am)
· The sevens gold medal match takes place at Tokyo Stadium, with the winner of Great Britain vs. New Zealand taking on either Argentina or Fiji (10am)

· Joe Fraser and James Hall compete for Team GB in the men's all-around final (11.15am-2.10pm)

· Anna Shackley will take part in the women's road time trial (from 3.30am)
· Geraint Thomas and Tao Geoghegan Hart have medal ambitions for Great Britain in the men's road time trial, although both will need to recover from the crash they suffered on Saturday (6am)

· Jack Laugher bids to retain his men's 3m synchro diving title alongside new partner Daniel Goodfellow (7am)

· Charlotte Dujardin will look to add to her already legendary status with a third successive Olympic individual dressage title (9.30am-1.25pm)

> Today's schedule in full
Todays Game Header Right

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!