Our prediction for this Nations League match:
All eyes will be on Liberty Stadium when Wales and Republic of Ireland square off against each other in the Nations League Group 4. The Dragons aim to retain top position in the standings, and the fact that Tottenham ace Gareth Bale returns to contention is certainly giving fans a reason for optimism ahead of the visit of Ireland. Keep in mind, though, that both Joe Allen and Aaron Ramsey are sidelined with injury.
The Boys in Green, on the other hand, are determined to record their first win of the process, but seeing that the hosts want this win more than the visitors, we are tempted to put our money on Ryan Giggs’ charges. David McGoldrick has announced his retirement from international football, which is yet another reason why home win should be considered. The good news for the visitors is that Everton full-back Seamus Coleman returns to the squad.
Highlighted Player (Gareth Bale):
Gareth Bale is a Welsh footballer who plays for Real Madrid as a winger. “Bailo” was born in Cardiff on 16 July, 1989 and, as expected, he played for his home-town club Cardiff Civil Service at the start of his youth career. He moved to Southampton’s football academy in 1999 and he made a great progress during his spell with the Saints.
Bale made 40 league appearances for the first team and it has to be noted that he played as a full back at the start of his senior career. In 2007 he signed a contract with Tottenham Hotspur and he was producing thrilling performances with the White Hart Lane outfit from 2007 to 2013. Real Madrid chiefs did well to sign him on 1 September, 2013 for a fee of €91 million.
The Welsh winger won two Champions League trophies with los Blancos (2013/2014, 2015/2016) and, speaking of his international career, he made it to the European Championship finals with Wales. The Welsh ace scored three goals at the showpiece tournament in France as the Dragons reached the semi-final.
Highlighted Team (Ireland):
Competing as an independent entity since 1953, Republic of Ireland have struggled to match the world’s best national teams ever since, although they did achieve several respectable results on the road. Their best ever result, the 1990 World Cup quarter-final, was achieved with a big smile from Lady Luck seeing that the Irish reached the last eight without winning a single match.
They have since reached the last 16 stage at the 1994 and 2002 tournaments, while only qualifying for three European Championship finals (1988, 2012, 2016). The Irish were in the top 10 of the FIFA Rankings in 1993 and 1994, but have failed to repeat the success in the next twenty odd years, and it appears they are no closer to bridging the gap behind European powerhouses.
Robbie Keane holds the record for most national team caps and goals at the same time, having bagged 67 in 143 appearances, whereas Niall Quinn, Steve Staunton, Damien Duff, Tony Cascarino and Don Givens are some of the other star players.