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Euro 2016 qualifiers: Wales to stay ahead of pack by sinking Cyprus

| 03.09.2015

Wales make their way to the Mediterranean to square-up with Cyprus, as they strive to stay at the top of Euro 2016 qualifying Group B, where the Dragons are three points ahead of pool favourites Belgium.

Chris Coleman’s men, unbeaten in six clashes so far, are odds-on with Coral at 8/11 to rack-up their fifth win against the plucky Cypriots.

Real Madrid superstar Gareth Bale has found the international stage an ideal platform on which to shrug off club criticism, and will be seeking to inspire Wales, 18/5 to fire in three or more, to a crucial away victory.

Having bagged three in his last two tussles for the duelling Dragons, including the all-important winner against Belgium that sent Cardiff City Stadium in to raptures, Bale is a scintillating 7/2 shout to strike first, or 4/1 to notch two or more. Alternatively, place a stake (max £20) on Coral’s match special, for Bale to score & Wales to win at a nifty 9/4.

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Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey has also been menacing for his nation, and is becoming increasingly influential in midfield, where he is 5/4 in the anytime market, or 5/1 to fire in the final goal.

In tricky matches on the road it can often be the grafters that bag, so punters can also back Reading flank threat Hal Robson-Kanu (2/1 to hit home anytime), still an injury doubt, and Burnley striker Sam Vokes (5/4) to make the difference on the Dragons’ travels.

For this clash Coleman will already be without midfield marshal Joe Allen, a different player in the colours of his country, and young-gun Jonny Williams, with both sidelined through injury.

Leicester City’s Andy King could step up instead, and the England-born Foxes star told press that Wales are in for a tough task, stating: “they are in their home country so they might think they can get away with a little bit more. We’re expecting a tough game against a physical team and we have to make sure we’re ready for it.”

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Minnows Cyprus, level on nine points with third-place play-off hopes Israel but behind on goal difference, still have a shot of a great escape from this group. So, while a win at 7/2 is unlikely against their in-form guests, a draw at a 5/2 price looks a more profitable bet.

With Belgium, who thumped them 5-0 in the reverse, up next, grabbing a goal or two here could prove crucial to coach Pambos Christodoulou’s hopes.

Joint top Cypriot scorer in qualifying and AEK Larnaca striker Nestoras Mitidis is 13/2 to get off the mark first, while APOEL attacking midfielder Constantinos Makrides is a 7/2 chance to chip in anytime.

Betting tip: Bale @ 7/2 to draw first blood

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Holly Thackeray

Holly is a member of the content team, and can often be found on the sports desk writing about favourite topics Serie A and East Asian footballing nations. A recent darts convert, she is also a fully-fledged member of Barney's Army and a proud Leeds-born Manchester United fan.