Wales welcome Azerbaijan to the Cardiff City Stadium in the knowledge that anything less than victory could all but end their qualification hopes for next summer’s UEFA Euro 2020 tournament.
Ryan Giggs’ men are currently sat fourth in Group E but with Hungary, Slovakia and Croatia all ahead of them, victory is crucial if they’re to stick with them particularly given that Wales don’t have the play-offs to fall back on.
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Wales have a full strength squad available despite Aaron Ramsey who is sidelined with a hamstring injury.
Azerbaijan also have a full squad available with no injury concerns.
- Wales are unbeaten in six meetings with Azerbaijan and the only occasion in which they conceded, came during a 1-1 draw in September 2004 (W5, D1).
- Wayne Hennessey, Chris Gunter, Joe Allen and Sam Vokes are the only four Welsh players who featured in the last meeting between these teams in June 2009, to be included in the current squad.
- Wales manager, Ryan Giggs is the only Welsh player to score a brace in a single match against Azerbaijan, doing so in October 2005.
- Ramil Sheydayev has scored for Azerbaijan in two of their three qualifiers so far.
- Azerbaijan have scored in seven of their last nine matches in all competitions (W2, D3, L4).
I can see a comfortable Wales win given their record over Azerbaijan and with so many of their players like Daniel James and Harry Wilson currently in good form, at least three goals would be a great return from this match.
Prediction: Wales 3-0 Azerbaijan
Result: Wales 2-1 Azerbaijan