Wales - Scotland Preview: Steven Fletcher returns to face injury-hit Dragons
Chris Coleman is looking for his first victory with the national team, and faces a side determined to kick-start their World Cup campaign despite a number of missing personnel
By Chris Teale
Matthews, Williams, Nyatanga, Gunter
Allen, Ledley, Ramsey, Bale
Hutton, Caldwell, Berra, Mulgrew
Morrison, D Fletcher, Adam, Commons
Wales are set be captained by defender Ashley Williams for the first time, after the Swansea man recently replaced Aaron Ramsey as the wearer of the armband.
Chris Coleman is hopeful both Gareth Bale and Adam Matthews can recover from slight knocks, and if fit they should feature despite having not trained with the team.
The Dragons are still without several key players though, and Jason Brown is due to start in goal as both Boaz Myhill and Wayne Hennessey are unavailable.
Meanwhile, Scotland have injury problems of their own, with Robert Snodgrass and Jordan Rhodes both pulling out of the squad.
Striker Steven Naismith will also miss both games through suspension for an elbowing incident against Serbia in the Scots’ last World Cup qualifier.
Celtic pair Charlie Mulgrew and Scott Brown have both recently picked up knocks, but should recover in time for this game.
Meanwhile there are welcome returns for Sunderland striker Steven Fletcher who is recalled after two years away from international football and Manchester United's Darren Fletcher who is fit again after illness.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Wales have lost all five games since Chris Coleman (pictured) took charge, with their only goal in those matches coming against Serbia.
- In their senior international matches at Cardiff City Stadium, Wales have won three and lost four games. The venue has been chosen to host the Uefa Super Cup final in 2014.
- Joe Ledley has the honour of having captained the youngest Wales side in history, as he led a team with an average age of 21 to a 1-0 friendly victory over Estonia in 2009.
- In all games between these sides, Scotland have tasted victory 61 times, compared to 21 wins for Wales, with a draw being the outcome on 23 occasions.
- Since the end of the British Home Championship in 1984, these teams have faced each other six times, with Wales tasting victory on four occasions, including a memorable 4-0 victory at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff in 2004.
- The Scots have suffered mixed form in their last five matches, drawing three and beating Australia in a friendly but losing 5-1 away to the United States in May.
- Scottish midfielder Shaun Maloney was the first player to win both the SPFA Players’ Player of the Year and the SPFA Young Player of the Year awards in the same season when he did so at Celtic in 2006.
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Top 3 Predictions
Wales 1-1 Scotland
- 16.54 %
Wales 1-0 Scotland
- 11.81 %
Wales 2-1 Scotland
- 11.02 %
|World Cup 2014 (Europe) (WCQE)||Mar 23, 2013||Scotland 1 - Wales 2|
|World Cup 2014 (Europe) (WCQE)||Oct 13, 2012||Wales 2 - Scotland 1|
|Home Nations Cup (HNC)||May 26, 2011||Wales 1 - Scotland 3|
|International Friendlies (FR)||Nov 14, 2009||Wales 3 - Scotland 0|
|Nov 17, 2013||Wales 1 - Finland 1||FR|
|Oct 16, 2013||Belgium 1 - Wales 1||WCQE|
|Oct 12, 2013||Wales 1 - Macedonia FYR 0||WCQE|
|Sep 11, 2013||Wales 0 - Serbia 3||WCQE|
|Sep 7, 2013||Macedonia FYR 2 - Wales 1||WCQE|
|-||Owain Fon Williams||Goalkeeper|
|-||Craig Martin Davies|
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed