Poland vs. Wales Predictions: Back Bale to get on the scoresheet in Nations League opener
Wales travel to Poland to take on the Eagles on Wednesday as both teams start their Nations League campaign. The game can be seen live on Premier Sports 1, kicking-off at 5pm and we are here to preview the game and provide you with our best bets.
The UEFA Nations League returns this week for the third renewal that will run through to 2024. France the defending champions in a tournament that has one of the most confusing structures known to man, with the league phase set to commence from 1 June 2022 through to 27 September 2022. This will then be followed by the finals which will take place between 14-18 June 2023, with the relegation play-offs then being decided on 21-26 March 2024.
As a reminder, the competition consists of three leagues of 16 sides and a fourth league made up of just seven. These leagues were decided by the promotions and relegations of the most recent edition of the tournament.
Wales are still waiting to see who they will face in their World Cup qualifier play-off on Sunday evening and that gives manager Rob Page a few dilemmas here, with the prospect of qualifying for Qatar still at the forefront of his mind. Page will want to get his Nations League off to a win and will be reluctant to rest players ahead of Sunday’s showdown at the Millennium Stadium. Gareth Bale is expected to start the game after not playing any of Saturday’s Champions League final.
Matty Cash will be looking to earn his fifth cap at right-back for Poland after putting Aston Villa ahead on the final day of the Premier League season at the Etihad. Brighton’s Jakob Moder is ruled out through injury, with Grzegorz Krychowiak set to start in midfield.
Poland vs Wales Tips
The first selection we are getting behind in Wroclaw is for the home side to win the match, priced at around 5/6 with most firms. Poland booked their place at the World Cup finals in Qatar when beating Sweden 2-0 in a play-off back in March.
Czeslaw Michniewicz’s side have won six of their last eight competitive matches on a run which includes a 1-1 stalemate against England last Autumn. Robert Lewandowski looks to be on the move this summer away from Bayern Munich, but at an International level, he has scored nine goals in nine appearances in this World Cup qualifying campaign. Only Harry Kane and Memphis Depay have scored more goals than the Polish talisman in this European qualifying stage for the 2022 World Cup and we fancy him to have a big game on Wednesday, putting his skills in the shop window for potential buyers.
Another factor worth considering here is what lies ahead for Wales. Just four days after this clash with Poland, they will face either Ukraine or Scotland in a World Cup play-off. The prospect of reaching only their second ever World Cup finals and their first since 1958 is sure to be on the minds of players and staff as they travel to Eastern Europe and we think that Poland can take advantage of the Welsh having their minds on the weekend.
One player who we think looks a little overpriced in the anytime scorer market is Wales’ all time top-scorer Gareth Bale. After scoring a brace in his last competitive International match against Austria, Bale has now scored 38 times for his country. The now five-time Champions League winner did not feature at all in Saturday evenings final and should be fresh and ready to start from the off here.
In this World Cup qualifying phase it’s no surprise to see Gareth Bale is the top-scorer for Wales with five goals scored in six appearances. Most bookmakers have the 32-year-old priced around 12/5 to get himself on the scoresheet in the first game of this Nations League group stage. Betfair and Paddy Power go 7/2 about Bale scoring against Poland which we think looks a shade too big for a player who often brings his best form when performing for his country.
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