2022 FIFA World Cup Team Preview: Wales


Wales World Cup Team Preview 


FIFA Ranking: 19
Manager: Robert Page
Federation: UEFA
Group: England, USA, Wales, Iran
Odds to win World Cup+25000, PointsBet
Odds to win Group B+600, Caesars
Odds to advance in Group B+120, Caesars


How did Wales qualify for the World Cup? 

There is an argument to be made that nobody really wanted the Welsh to qualify for this World Cup as they had to do so in a playoff against Ukraine. In an emotional game, with the world rooting for Ukraine, a Gareth Bale free kick sent Wales to its first World Cup since 1958. During qualifying, Wales finished second in their group only to the powerhouse that is Belgium. They went 4-1-3 in the qualifying round. 

Who is Wales’s most important player? 

Gareth Bale

This is expected to be the last international tournament for Wales’ most recognized player of all time. Since joining Real Madrid, Bale’s struggles for form have been widely recognized but the Welsh captain is still certainly capable of putting on a show on the biggest occasion. All of the spotlight will shine on him if the Welsh are able to go on a run. 

What are Wales’s strengths, weaknesses, style of play and form?

The Welsh are expected to deploy a 3-4-3 formation with a counter-attacking philosophy. Wales possessed the ball less than 50% of the time in World Cup qualifying and around 40% of the time during the UEFA Nations League. If they take an early lead on anyone, you can expect this team to park the bus. Is this the most pleasant style of football? No, but after going to the Semi-Finals in the Euro’s, it’s hard to argue against the strategy. 

This is a Welsh side that seems to constantly overachieve, as they don’t have any clear strengths that standout. Wales’ greatest strength is probably that they are solid all around and have collectively as a group played a lot of minutes together. In major tournaments, that is a valuable asset. 

Their biggest weakness is their lack of young star power. Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey are their most recognized players, and I wouldn’t call either a star. Ethan Ampadu is their youngest player with a legitimate number of caps at 22 years old, but after him there is not much else. This is neither a deep squad nor a young squad. 

The Welsh are not in great form losing to Poland twice, Netherlands twice, Belgium once and drawing Belgium another time in the Nations Leagues. They did beat Ukraine 1-0 June 5 to qualify for the tournament. 

What is Wales’ World Cup Outlook?

Even though this Welsh team continues to exceed expectations in major tournaments, this is the biggest of them all and considering their group, I am not a believer. Group B is a sneaky tough group, and it will be difficult for Wales to grind their way to 4+ points to advance to the knockout round. Their biggest match is their opening match against the US, if they come out of that with zero points, it’s going to be a tough hole to climb out of. At best, this team makes it to the Round of 16 where they would play the winner of Group A. 

Best Wales World Cup Bet

US markets don’t have it available yet, but once live I will be taking stabs at Wales Lowest Scoring Team and Wales to Not Advance. 

Wales Projected World Cup Roster

GK: Wayne Hennessey, Danny Ward, Adam Davies

DF: Connor Roberts, Ben Davies, Joe Rodon, Chris Mempham, Ethan Ampadu, Chris Gunter, Neco Williams, Ben Cabango

MF: Joe Allen, Joe Morrell, Aaron Ramsey, Dylant Levitt, Johnny Williams, Matt Smith, Rubin Colwill, Sorba Thomas

FW: Harry Wilson, Gareth Bale, Dan James, Brennan Johnson, Kieffer Moore, Tyler Roberts

Group A   |  Ecuador   Senegal   Netherlands  Qatar

Group B  |  Iran  Wales  USA  England 

Group C  |  Mexico  Saudi Arabia  Poland  Argentina 

Group D  |  Tunisia  Denmark  Australia  France

Group E  |  Japan   Germany   Costa Rica   Spain 

Group F  |  Croatia  Morocco  Canada  Belgium 

Group G  |  Cameroon  Switzerland  Serbia  Brazil

Group H  |  South Korea  Uruguay  Ghana  Portugal

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