MX23RW : Sunday, October 13 21:01:14| >> :120:40337:40337:
Oct 13, 2019 at 7.45pm UK at ​Millennium Stadium
Bale (45')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Vlasic (9')

Preview: Wales vs. Croatia - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole provides team news, predicted lineups and a full preview of Sunday's Euro 2020 qualifier between Wales and Croatia.

Wales head into their crucial Euro 2020 qualifier with Croatia knowing that victory would take them a significant step towards qualifying for next summer's finals.

Meanwhile, Croatia make the trip to Cardiff aware that a share of the spoils will be enough to keep them on track to make the main stages of the tournament.

Match preview

Wales boss Ryan Giggs on October 9, 2019© Reuters

Ryan Giggs is continuing to divide opinion as manager of Wales, and the 1-1 draw in Slovakia has done little to swing supporters either way with regards to how they feel about the former winger remaining at the helm in the long term.

However, despite squandering a lead on Thursday night, as well as being fortunate to hang on for a share of the spoils, Wales are still in contention to qualify for Euro 2020.

Whether they achieve their goal could depend on how they fare at the weekend, with a victory potentially leaving the Dragons in second spot and a defeat putting Wales in a position where they must win their remaining contests to have any chance of progression.

There is still the backup of playing host to Hungary in the final game of the group, although the hard work needs to be produced now in order to ensure that they can head into that encounter requiring a positive result to put them closer to a second successive appearance in the Finals.

Wales have already battled their way to home victories over Slovakia and Azerbaijan, and they will need to produce a similar type of performance to get anything from a Croatia side who sit top of the group.

The World Cup finalists have played one game more than Wales, but the visitors are aware that they can effectively secure their place in next year's tournament with three points in Cardiff.

The 3-0 triumph over Hungary on Thursday was a statement performance with each of their goals coming in the first half, and Bruno Petkovic continued to show that he can be the long-term option down the middle by taking his international tally to four strikes from six outings.

However, aware of the possibility of this being their final major tournament, some of the old guard are also motivated to succeed, and Wales will have to produce their best performance for a number of years to get the better of their opponents on Sunday evening.

Wales form: WLLWD

Croatia form: WLWWDW

Team News

Wales' Harry Wilson and Ethan Ampadu during training on October 9, 2019© Reuters

Despite his goal on Thursday night, Kieffer Moore could drop down to the substitutes' bench in order to accommodate the return of Harry Wilson.

That would lead to Gareth Bale leading the line, although the midfield three could remain the same, providing that Giggs deems Ethan Ampadu fit enough to play twice in three days after not featuring for RB Leipzig this season.

Giggs must also decide whether to keep faith with a young backline, with Neil Taylor an option at left-back if Ben Davies is moved into the middle.

Having missed the game in Slovakia, Aaron Ramsey must come through a fitness test to be considered for selection.

Barring any injury issues, Croatia boss Zlatko Dalic could name the same side which began the fixture against Hungary,

Mateo Kovacic and Nikola Vlasic are both in contention to come into the team should any changes be made for the encounter in south Wales.

Wales possible starting lineup: Hennessey; Roberts, Lockyer, Rodon, Davies; Ampadu, Allen; Wilson, Williams, James; Bale

Croatia possible starting lineup: Livakovic; Jedvaj, Lovren, Vida, Barisic; Modric, Brozovic, Rakitic; Perisic, Rebic, Petkovic

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We say: Wales 1-1 Croatia

Cardiff has been the setting for some of Wales' most memorable occasions against the top nations in recent years, with the home side frequently rising to the occasion. However, the stakes are high here, and we feel that Croatia will be able to come away with a point.

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Wales boss Ryan Giggs on October 9, 2019
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