Wales will be hoping to pull off a shock result against England on Tuesday night and give themselves a faint chance of qualifying for the World Cup knockouts.
The Red Dragons are competing in their first finals since 1958 with their playoff win over Ukraine in June, but a recent defeat to Iran after drawing their first match against USA has cast serious doubt on their chances of making the last 16.
Playing in back-to-back major tournaments for the first time, having also featured at Euro 2020, where they were beaten by Denmark in the last 16, Wales need a big win over neighbours England, while hoping the result between USA and Iran also works in their favour.
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Latest Wales odds to win the World Cup
A run to the semi-finals of Euro 2016 showed what Wales were capable of and, although they were only able to make the round of 16 at Euro 2020, they should still be feared by England and Gareth Southgate.
|Wales to win World Cup||1000/1|
|Wales to reach semi-final||66/1|
|Wales to reach quarter-final||33/1|
|Wales to win Group B||1000/1|
|Gareth Ball World Cup Golden Boot odds||250/1|
*You have to be 18+ to gamble. All odds within this article are accurate at the time of writing (08:00, 29/11/2022). BeGambleAware.
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Although Iran are now favourites to advance as runners-up from Group B, Wales have developed a knack for doing what is necessary to qualify from the group stages at recent international tournaments — even if their immediate forecast looks bleak.
They swatted aside Russia and Slovakia en route to winning their group at Euro 2016, while impressive performances against Switzerland and Turkey saw them through the group five years later. It requires a huge win over England, though, for them to extend their stay in Qatar.
Wales route to the World Cup 2022 Final in Qatar
Group Stage Fixtures
|USA 1-1 Wales||Ahmad bin Ali Stadium||21 November, 7pm|
|Wales 0-2 Iran||Ahmad bin Ali Stadium||25 November, 10am|
|Wales vs England||Ahmad bin Ali Stadium||29 November, 7pm|
*All times GMT
Who could Wales meet in the knockout rounds?
Wales are now priced at 1000/1 to win Group B, but they served up a shock by topping the pile at Euro 2016 before going on to reach the last four. To match that achievement in Qatar, they will have to beat England in Group B by a huge margin and hope results elsewhere work in their favour, before potential ties against Ecuador, who beat hosts Qatar 2-0 in the opening game, and world champions France — it’s certainly a big ask.
And things don’t get any easier from there. If Germany’s early tournament passes without a hitch, they would then meet Wales in the semis, before a possible final against five-time winners Brazil.
|If Wales win B||Potential opponent|
|Round of 16||Ecuador|
A runners-up spot in Group B represents Wales’ best chance of making it to the last eight.
It presents the possibility of a second-round meeting with the Netherlands, before a potential tie against Lionel Messi’s Argentina in the last eight.
Fancy them to get through that? This half of the draw will likely present Wales with a semi-final against Brazil, with defending champions France waiting in the final.
|If Wales come runners up in Group B||Potential opponent|
|Round of 16||Netherlands|
Wales World Cup 2022 squad
|Wayne Hennessey||Goalkeeper||35||Nottingham Forest|
|Adam Davies||Goalkeeper||30||Sheffield United|
|Neco Williams||Defender||21||Nottingham Forest|
|Matthew Smith||Midfielder||22||MK Dons|
|Dylan Levitt||Midfielder||21||Dundee United|
|Brennan Johnson||Forward||21||Nottingham Forest|
Wales Players to watch at this year’s World Cup 2022
Wales top World Cup Golden Boot contender – Gareth Bale
If Wales are going to reach the latter stages at the World Cup finals, Bale will have to bring his scoring boots against England.
The 33-year-old, who hit six goals in World Cup qualifying as he powered the Dragons to their first finals since 1958, signed for MLS side Los Angeles FC to keep fit for the finals. He ended up playing a key role in their MLS Cup win, scoring a late equaliser in extra-time to take their match against Philadelphia Union to penalties – which they won.
Bale is Wales’s all-time leading goalscorer, with 41 international goals in a senior international career dating back to 2006. Of those goals, three came at Euro 2016 as he finished second in the scoring charts at his first major tournament, as well as the equalising penalty against USA.
Wales player to watch – Neco Williams
Full-back Williams has already established himself as a key man for Wales. The 21-year-old, who swapped Liverpool for Nottingham Forest in the summer, is a composed ball-carrier with a creative spark in the final third.
Williams has wowed Wales fans with a seemingly endless energy, driving runs from deep, and the odd goal. He has scored two in 25 caps for Wales, and regular domestic football with Forest will have boosted his game ahead of Qatar.
Jurgen Klopp begrudgingly allowed Williams to leave Anfield earlier this year, where Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson have blocked his path to the first team. The Liverpool boss said Williams had “earned the right” to regular game time with a view to being ready for the World Cup.
Wales emerging player to look out for – Brennan Johnson
Johnson has already racked up 17 caps for Wales since making his international debut in October last year.
The Nottingham Forest man has been dubbed a “superstar” in the making by Wales boss Page, but he made just one start and five substitute appearances in World Cup qualifying for the Red Dragons.
A second-half substitute in their opening game and against Iran, Page may be tempted to cast him from the off against England. Two goals in three Nations League appearances in June certainly suggests Page may need to consider him on Tuesday.
Wales tactical analysis & likely formation at the World Cup
Wales have gone in as underdogs in Qatar. It means much of their play has centred around keeping bodies back behind the ball and using the width provided by two adventurous wing-backs, in Connor Roberts and Neco Williams, to help deliver a counter-punch.
While sometimes uninspiring, this defensive approach – with Chris Mepham, Joe Rodon and Ben Davies comprising the back three – proved fruitful in keeping out stronger sides as the Red Dragons embarked on a long unbeaten home run under Page.
In attack, the Wales boss has sometimes leant on Kieffer Moore as a spearhead forward to provide an outlet and prevent against clumsy errors when under a heavy press in the defensive third. The Bournemouth forward started the USA draw on the bench, but he made a difference when he replaced the ineffective Daniel James at half-time.
Moore will hope to start alongside Gareth Bale against England — as they did in the Iran loss — as Page sticks with the 3-5-2 formation, though the Wales boss may not want to tinker too much.
Wayne Hennessey was preferred to Danny Ward in goal against the States, but the Leicester man will start against England after the former got sent off last time out. Meanwhile, Ethan Ampadu can anchor the midfield once more against the Three Lions, allowing Aaron Ramsey and Harry Wilson the freedom to express themselves.
Where are Wales in the Fifa World Rankings?
Wales are currently 19th in the Fifa World Rankings, whilst their highest ever ranking was 8th in October 2015.
Who is the Wales Manager?
Page was brought in as interim manager in November 2020 succeeding outgoing boss Ryan Giggs. Still as acting manager, Page led them to the knockout stages of Euro 2020 before Wales booked their spot at the Qatar finals via the playoffs a year later. In September 2022, he was awarded the full-time gig on a four-year deal.
Who is the current Wales captain?
Page installed Bale as his Wales captain ahead of Euro 2020 and the LAFC man has retained the armband ever since.
How many times have Wales won the World Cup?
Wales have never lifted the World Cup trophy. Their only previous World Cup appearance was in 1958, when the Red Dragons were defeated 1-0 by Brazil in the quarter-finals.
How many times have Wales competed in the World Cup?
The 2022 World Cup will be just the second time Wales have appeared at the finals.
Who has scored Wales most goals in World Cup tournaments?
Wales have only ever scored four goals at a World Cup finals, with Ivor Allchurch scoring twice at the 1958 tournament in Sweden. John Charles and Terry Medwin were also on target for the Welsh at those finals.
Which player from Wales has the most World Cup appearances?
Several players from the 1958 World Cup squad featured in all five of their matches.