Two huge matches that will decide the fate of Coleman’s boys in their attempts to qualify for Russia. Can our nerves take it, will we get two victories? In preparation for the games in Tbilisi and Cardiff respectively, we have asked a number of our friends for various sources on the crucial matches. So sit back and enjoy reading our thoughts on the games and what the outcomes will be.
Disclaimer – Due to time restrictions, only Gareth from Podcast Pel Droed and the Y Ddraig team were aware of the absence of Gareth Bale from the starting lineups when they gave their predictions.
Darren – International Wales Magazine
Georgia If I was to rank our opponents in this group, it would be Serbia, Austria, Republic of Ireland, Georgia and Moldova; and their results in Tbilisi seem to reflect – Serbia winning 3-1, Austria winning 2-1, Ireland and Moldova both drawing 1-1. In case you’re wondering, I think we come in second after Serbia. For the average punter, predicting results is a mug’s game (just ask the bookies), after all, anything can happen on the day. That being the case, I’m going to use these results as a rough guide (plus a huge dose of patriotism) and go for a 2 – 1 win for Wales.
I think Ireland is in a false position and aren’t really as good as their results suggest. They’ll come to Cardiff and try the same tactics as they employed in Dublin, looking to get amongst us and unsettle and disrupt. Expect it to be a bit tasty too. Again, if we’re as good as I think we are we have to beat them, so I’m going 2 -0 Wales.
Mark Pitman – Welsh Reporter, UEFA
Coleman’s faith in youth was rewarded in the last two games, and David Brooks has shown enough already to suggest he has the potential to make an even bigger impression than Ben Woodburn. Georgia will be tough, but this is a strong squad who showed real character last time to take six points. Again, this is make or break, and the players know it. A 2-1 win in Georgia for Wales, and a 4-0 win over a deflated Ireland to end the campaign
Laurence Mora – Eatsleepfootyrepeat.
I’m going for a solid 2-0 win in Georgia. Bale will open the scoring with a free kick, Vokes will wrap it up with a goal in the second half. But an unfortunate yellow card for someone. Don’t know who though.
If we have won in Georgia, as I think we will, then we’ll win a horrible match at the Cardiff City Stadium 1-0. Ireland will spoil and refuse to come off their 18-yard box until the last 15-minutes then we’ll hit them on the break not long after the Canton End has finished the national anthem. Please don’t make me contemplate having to go into the game needing a win to take 2nd place. It could end horribly.
Sam Houldsworth – Manager, Newport City FC
Georgia – Wales win 2-0, it will be a tough fixture away, however, the team will play sensible and make sure they stay tight and do the job to get the 3 points. I think this game will come down to Bale as he is starting to hit some form for Madrid now too. Rep of Ireland – Wales to win 1-0 its been a poor showing from Rep of Ireland but I can see them putting men behind the ball and causing problems.
Rep of Ireland – Wales to win 1-0, it’s been a poor showing from Rep of Ireland but I can see them putting men behind the ball and causing problems. However, someone is going to be a hero in the night and I have a feeling it will be Vokes who could come on and steal the winner.
Bryn Law – Sky Sports
I’m not getting involved in the predictions game for these two. The only one that really counts is the first one, in Tbilisi. The Republic game seems a million miles away beyond Georgia. Georgia is the only game in the group I thought we might lose, during the game that is. For half an hour in Cardiff, they were all over us. We were lucky to hang on. Every other game, we could and maybe should have won. I actually think we’re the best team in the group but we started slowly and lacked that little bit of something different that Ben Woodburn’s brought to the last two games. If we can win in Georgia, I’d think we were in with a great chance, but I can’t see beyond that IF. Whatever happens, I still love this group of players, they’ve given us four fantastic years. We haven’t been this close to qualifying for a World Cup since ‘93. Best not to dwell on that though…
Tim Williams – Spirit of 58
Well, both games are a must win. So I predict a tougher game away in Georgia but with a full-strength squad, I think we’ll win 1 -0.
As for Ireland if we take the game to them from the start we’ll beat them 2-0, we owe them a win.
The Barry Horns
Oh my god! Wayyyy to superstitious for this!! Can’t do it!! Too paranoid. 1-1 draw v Georgia and 3-2 home win v Ireland
Neil Jones – Writer, Y Ddraig
Have to be positive, going for 2-1 victories to Wales in both matches
Julian Blackburn – Writer, Y Ddraig
I think we will win the Georgia game 2-1 and hope we win the Ireland game, but I think it will end in a draw.
Really think its crucial Ashley Williams puts his poor Everton form to one side and performs like he can do. Also, hope Ramsey can lift the performances throughout the side for one last push for Russia.
Ben Leggatt – Editor, Y Ddraig
Georgia 0 Wales 1
Think it’ll be a very tough match, with Wales getting plenty of the ball but struggling to make clear-cut chances. However, I do think we’ll get the goal in the end just got to hope the players stick in there and give it their all.
Wales 2 Ireland 1
I reckon this match will be a very exciting, tense match, with the first half being quite boring, with neither team going for itout of fear of losing. I think the second half will be end to end and full of chances, but I’ve got a feeling we have the quality to be able to edge it.
Scott Salter – Editor In Chief, InBedWithMaradona
We’ll beat Georgia 3-1. Woodburn will get his first start and will score too. We’ve got an exciting squad and I hope to see some of the youngsters given a chance.
I also think we will beat Ireland 1-0, it’ll be a really tough match and it will certainly be heated after the last game. We’ll have a few scares but we’ll pull through. Six points coming.
Craig Muncey – Co-Owner, Y Ddraig
What’s all the fuss about? Two victories incoming. Georgia I think will be a tougher prospect than the Irish game, but the boys have too much ability not to come out on top. Get ready, we are off to Russia!
Gareth Taylor – Podcast Peldroed
At Podcast-Peldroed we discussed how we thought things would go before Bale’s injury news broke. Prior to Bale’s withdrawal, we were confident. I expected a couple of cagey games but thought we’d have enough to get past an out of form Ireland and a Georgia team with nothing to play for. I’m less confident without our talisman. We managed a good draw in Serbia but we were stretched by them and going and winning games without him is something we’re well versed in.
We have to hope the squad believe they can win without him. Ramsey and Allen will need to have massive games in both fixtures. We can’t afford to be so complacent about the midfield as we were in the home game against Georgia and we’ll need class to unpick Ireland. Ben Davies is flying and hopefully, he’ll be played to offer width and an attacking threat from full-back that we don’t really get from Taylor.
I think many would like to see Woodburn from the start. It would be a gamble, but he seems to have that confidence, decision making and football brain at 17, that makes him look like he is, or at least will be, a level or two above what Tom Lawrence can offer. We can do it. But it’s going to be a very nervy four days. Come on Wales!
So there you have our thoughts. All very positive going by the set of results predicted. We just cannot wait now for the games to begin. As Gareth eloquently put Come on Wales!