Wales welcome Belarus at Cardiff Stadium

Wales welcome Belarus at Cardiff Stadium

Wales welcome Belarus at Cardiff Stadium

Wales welcome Belarus at Cardiff Stadium

Wales welcome Belarus at Cardiff Stadium

Wales can take another step towards securing a top-two finish in their World Cup qualifying group

when they host Belarus on Saturday.

Wales are already guaranteed a play-off place having won their Nations League group last year.

But to have any chance of a home draw they must finish second in their World Cup qualifying group,
for which victory over Belarus is vital.

“It is great to know that we have a play-off,” said Wales boss Rob Page.

“It feels very good and takes the pressure off a little bit.

“At the moment we have two games left [against Belarus and Belgium] and an opportunity to give us

a more favourable tie in a play-off.

“Our full aim is on that, we want to finish second and win both games.

“We want to build that momentum and take it into March.”

Wales could theoretically qualify automatically – they are five points behind Group E leaders Belgium with

two games to go – but they would need the world’s number one ranked side to lose to Estonia as well as to

Page’s men in Cardiff.

Therefore, the play-offs are Wales’ likeliest route to a first World Cup since 1958.

They can secure a top-two finish with four points from their final two qualifiers at home to Belarus on Saturday

and Belgium on Tuesday.

That would enhance their chances of – but not guarantee – a home draw in the play-offs.

Eight Wales players are one yellow card away from suspension. They are Chris Gunter, James Lawrence,

Ethan Ampadu, Joe Allen, Joe Morrell, Harry Wilson, Sorba Thomas and Aaron Ramsey.

If any of those are booked against Belarus, they will be suspended for Tuesday’s match against Belgium.

Wales needs to win over Belarus in this game to move up to second place.

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