Ukraine clash a chance for Coleman to further test Wales cast
Holly Thackeray | March 27, 2016
Ukraine v Wales
- International friendly
- Monday, March 28th
- Kick-off: 19:00 BST
- Olimpiyskiy National Sports Complex, Kiev
- Live on BBC Two Wales
Coleman tipped to ring changes
Wales travel to Ukraine for their next international break challenge, having surprisingly been held to a draw to fellow Home Nation and surprise Euro 2016 qualifying package Northern Ireland in their last friendly fixture.
The Dragons are still missing star trio Gareth Bale, Aaron Ramsey and Hal Robson-Kanu, and have also tied both of their previous meetings with the Yellow-Blue team, so a splitting of the spoils in what could be another chance for coach Chris Coleman to tinker is tempting to back at 13/5 with Coral.
Kiev is always a prickly place to play, and as Wales have just one win from their last five they look a little long at 5/1 for victory in this warm-up for summer, especially without their main players.
In a boost, however, Spurs defender Ben Davies is set to return, with fellow Premier League full back Neil Taylor also likely to take to the pitch.
Supporting cast still seeking Bale out
These dead rubber duels were dubbed an ideal chance for the Wales squad, minus their most famous faces, to show what they can do, but the last result was somewhat of a disappointment.
Ukraine are no pushovers, having been beaten just twice in their previous 15 tussles, with those defeats arriving narrowly at the hands of European champions Spain, so make ideal opponents against which to stand out and impress.
Exciting young attacking midfielders George Williams (7/2 in the anytime market) and Jonathan Williams (7/1) caught the eye last time out alongside striker and scorer Simon Church (7/1 to open scoring), while midfield shield Emyr Huws will also be eyeing a chance to capture Coleman’s imagination in Kiev.
“These games are very important,” Tottenham’s Davies told press. “There’s a lot of places in the squad up for grabs.
“I think some boys staked a very good claim [against Northern Ireland]. There were some good performances from the boys that came on and these are games where you have to show what you can do.
“Ukraine is a good test for us. They’re a top team and we’re aware of what they can bring to the game,” finished the full back.
Ukraine keen on home advantage
As for Wales’ opponents, Mykhaylo Fomenko’s men are always dangerous dark horses and, as they won four of their past five on Ukrainian soil, are intriguing at an odds-on price of 8/13 to triumph.
The Dragons undoubtedly face a tough task after the Yellow-Blues squeezed past Cyprus 1-0, and customers can back the home team to win by the same tight scoreline at 19/5.
With plenty of quality in the ranks, viewers may want to watch out for former Bayern Munich man and Ukraine captain Anatoliy Tymoshchuk, recent scorer and Shakhtar Donetsk star Taras Stepanenko (11/2 to notch anytime) and usual attacking suspect Andriy Yarmolenko (5/1 to have the final say).
Coral’s top tip: Wales look best value at 13/5 to split the spoils with Ukraine.