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Wales v Ukraine - World Cup: Preview

03 October 2022 11:55:35 EST
Andriy Yarmolenko was among the scorers in the 3-1 victory over Scotland

Having ended Scotland's hopes of reaching the World Cup finals, Ukraine head to Cardiff for Sunday's all-or-nothing showdown with Wales.

A team who will have taken great confidence from their 3-1 victory at Hampden Park, Ukraine will pose formidable opponents for Robert Page's Dragons.

What: Wales v Ukraine, World Cup qualifying play-off final

Where: Cardiff City Stadium

When: 17:00pm, Sunday 5th June, 2022

How to watch: Sky Sports Main Event, Sky Sports Football, ITV, S4C

Odds: Wales 1.75, Ukraine 2.00 (to qualify)

Belief grows after Glasgow glory

Underdogs going into their trip to Scotland, Ukraine produced a superb performance and were fully deserving of their play-off semi-final win over Steve Clarke's side.

Goals from Andriy Yarmolenko, Roman Yaremchuk and Artem Dovbyk secured the victory in front of a packed house at Hampden on Wednesday.

Despite the high of the win in Glasgow, the Ukraine squad and management will know the job is not done yet and they must go again at the Cardiff City Stadium.

Manager Oleksandr Petrakov has no fresh injury concerns ahead of the trip to the Welsh capital and the same starting XI who were so effective against the Scots are likely to get the nod on Sunday.

Ukraine are 2.90 to win in the 90 minutes and 13.00 to edge home after extra-time.

Wales must learn Scotland lessons

Scotland were overwhelmed in the first half against Ukraine and should have been further behind than the 1-0 scoreline at the break.

It will be up to Wales to try and cope with the pressure of the momentous occasion as they stand potentially 90 minutes away from reaching the World Cup finals for the first time since 1958.

Page named a much-changed side to face Poland in midweek, as his side suffered a 2-1 defeat in Wrocław.

The likes of Gareth Bale, Aaron Ramsey, Ben Davies and Joe Allen were all rested for the encounter against Poles and are set to make a return to the starting XI on Sunday.

Wales are 2.55 to win the game in 90 minutes this weekend and are 3.75 to triumph by a one-goal margin.

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Much rests on Bale to produce

A talisman for his country for so many years, Gareth Bale has stepped up on the big occasion on a number of times for Wales.

Confirming this week that his time at European champions Real Madrid has come to an end, the 32-year-old is currently in the shop window and looking for perhaps his last club before hanging up his boots.

It certainly looks like Bale's last opportunity to reach a World Cup with Wales and there will be plenty of expectation from the home crowd for him to deliver.

Bale is currently 5.50 to score the opening goal of the game in Cardiff, while the former Tottenham star is a 2.75 shot to score at any time.

With his ability from set-pieces and still with the pace that has caused defenders problems for so many years, it looks like Bale will have another big part to play in what will be the most important game the Cardiff City Stadium has witnessed.

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