Ukraine v Wales – NSC Olimpiyskiy, Kiev at 19:00 live on BBC Two Wales
Wales continue their Euro 2016 preparations with a trip to Kiev this evening to face the Ukraine in what should be a tough test for Chris Coleman’s men.
The Dragons were excellent in qualifying for France, finishing runners up to Belgium and ahead of Bosnia and Israel. Since booking their place in the finals this Summer though, they have been less than impressive in their 2 friendlies.
A 3-2 defeat at the hands of the Netherlands, who failed to qualify for the European Championships, and a 1-1 draw with Northern Ireland in Cardiff on Thursday, shows there are some improvements needed before June.
They had one of the best defensive records in qualifying but were one of the the lowest scoring sides from teams that will be taking part in the finals.
They will once again be without star players Aaron Ramsey and Gareth Bale which limits Coleman’s attacking options and may find it hard to create decent goal scoring opportunities in Kiev tonight.
The Ukraine secured their place in France by defeating Slovenia 3-1 in a play-off, and would have been disappointed to have finished third in their qualifying group behind behind Spain and Slovakia.
Since their play-off, the Yellow-Blue have played just once, a friendly against Cyprus last Thursday. Despite being strong favourties, they struggled to break down the Cypriot, finishing the game narrow 1-0 winners.
If they play as they did on Thursday, against a much better defensive set-up, they will find it even harder to find the back of the net.
Coleman will play with a defensive strategy as it is unlikely Wales will cause the hosts to many problems going forward, especially without Gareth Bale. The Wales boss already knows how strong his team can be defensively so will look to experiment going forward.
With a strong defensively display expected from both teams, I don’t see many goals here, but looking at the prices, neither does anyone else. Under 2 goals on the Asian line is priced at 1.98 which I still think offers some value.
Looking at the Asian Handicap betting market, Wales are the value bet +0.75 at 2.04. With a good possibility, this one could end up honours even, the underdogs are my recommendation on the Asian Handicap, however, as with all international friendlies, approach with caution.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Wales +0.75 at 2.04
Prices correct at time of writing.
Eastbridge Soccer Betting Broker, the Asian Handicap betting specialists.