Wales go in to the next two games with World Cup qualification on their minds
Monday, 8th Nov 2021 09:00 by Gruff Stephens
It’s the final international break of the year, and Wales go in to two massive games over the next eight days. On Saturday Wales play against Belarus, and then their final game at home is on the following Tuesday to Belgium. The nation is extremely hopeful that a priority win against Belarus is secured before taking on Ex Swansea City manager Roberto Martinez and his Belgium side.
To clear up any ambiguity, don’t laugh, the play off games for qualification for the World Cup will take place as semi finals, and then a final between the 24th March and 29th March 2022. This means regardless of how Wales qualify they will have to play more games in late March to be successful. The twelve qualifiers from the group stage will be split in to groups of three with four teams in each group. Each play-off path will feature two single-leg semi-finals on 24–25 March, and one single-leg final on 28–29 March 2022. The winner of the final in each play-off path will then qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
Due to their successful Nations League exploits Wales should qualify as one of the best placed sides, and then as stated the knock out to determine who goes to the Qatar World Cup in 2022. If they finish second to Belgium they will get a more favourable draw than if they finish third. I’m certain that makes sense, and we hope that the more favourable draws actually do come Wales way this time.
The Welsh FA seem positive. Cymru manager Robert Page has named a 28 player squad for the upcoming FIFA World Cup Qualifying matches this month against Belarus and Belgium. Captain Gareth Bale is back on the squad list after recovering from an injury which saw him miss out on the last two qualifiers. With 99 caps in tow, Bale is set to join the likes of Jess Fishlock, Loren Dykes, Sophie Ingle and Chris Gunter in the Cymru Centurion club at the Cardiff City Stadium should he make an appearance next week.
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Ben Davies and Rhys Norrington-Davies also return to the fold after missing out on last month’s camp due to illness and injury. After impressing on his debut camp, Sorba Thomas is also included alongside Cymru youngsters Rubin Colwill and Brennan Johnson. Rob Page’s men are battling to secure second place in Group E and coveted place at the FIFA World Cup play-offs in March. They currently sit in third place behind the Czech Republic but with a game in hand. It’s all in Cymru’s hand as they look forward to playing back to back home matches against the Red Wall at Cardiff City Stadium.
Cymru will face Belarus on Saturday 13 November at 19:45 before facing group leaders Belgium on Tuesday 16 November at 19:45. Both ties will be televised and tickets are still available for the game.
Swansea Independent will continue to report Swansea City news during the international break, and of course will keep you up to date with the very latest World Cup qualification news over the next two weeks.
Photographs licensed from Reuters
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