2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifying: Wales vs Belarus

Wales face the first of two crunch World Cup Qualifiers in Group E as Belarus visit Cardiff City Stadium. 

With Czech Republic not in action, victory would see Wales move into second ahead of the final round of qualifiers.

Belarus meanwhile can climb to fourth with a win if Estonia fail to beat Belgium elsewhere.

 

Team News

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Ben Cabango is ruled out for Wales after opting to withdraw from the squad for personal reasons.

Dylan Levitt is Rob Page’s only other absentee as the midfielder suffered a minor knee injury on return to training at Dundee United, having recently recovered from a virus.

Belarus have no fresh injury concerns to report.

 

Stat Attack

  • Wales have lost just one of their six previous meetings against Belarus (W5, L1).
  • Belarus have lost all three previous trips to Wales in competitions, including 1-0 defeats on their last two visits (L3).
  • Wales have scored first in four of their six previous clashes against Belarus.
  • Wales’ Danny Ward is the only goalkeeper to have scored an own goal coming into this round of fixtures of this UEFA section of 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifying.
  • Belarus have lost all three away matches in Group E without scoring (L3), in which they conceded 11 goals of which six were conceded after half time.

 

Prediction

With a play-off spot now assured by virtue of their Nations League finish, Wales can afford to relax slightly but a win here is still crucial if they want home advantage in the play-off semi-finals so Rob Page’s Dragons cannot afford to rest here especially after scraping a win in the reverse fixture in September.

Wales though cannot afford any silly defensive shenanigans here like they experienced away to Czech Republic last month, before scraping a win over Estonia in their other qualifier because they need to come out and attack not only for the win but goal difference too.

Belarus meanwhile are eliminated but can cause issues on the attack like they did in their home leg albeit on neutral territory in Russia, so I expect them to come here with nothing to lose which could help them play more freely.

I however feel like this is Wales’ match to lose and with Gareth Bale back, they should be capable of getting a comfortable win here.

Prediction: Wales 2-0 Belarus

Result: Wales 5-1 Belarus

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