If a match between Wales and Panama was going to have one team who will be present at next summer’s World Cup in Russia, you would’ve thought it would be Wales. However, that is not the case. Panama recently booked their place in Russia, while Wales failed to make it through, thanks to defeat against Ireland in the final qualifying match.
Since that morale-damaging defeat to Ireland, Wales have lost to France. With the French being as good as they are, such a result isn’t too worrying, but Chris Coleman will be looking for his side to bounce back here. Panama have also lost their only game since World Cup Qualifying finished. Tuesday’s visitors came off second best (2-1) in a friendly against Iran on Friday.
Wales’ fortunes may well have taken a turn for the worse recently, but they will certainly fancy their chances against this opposition. Panama may have made it to the world cup, but they’ve still got a long way to go before they can be considered real competitive opposition. Wales, who have a pleasing record on home soil, really ought to be coming out on top here, and Chris Coleman’s men are worth backing to do so.
Coming into this match Wales have lost just one of their last nine in front of their own fans. That defeat may well have been last time out against Ireland, but there is no reason to think that the hosts cannot bounce back here. Against an opposing team who’ve not exactly thrived away from home in recent times, Wales have a big opportunity to bounce back.
Wales might have a useful home record, but the main catalyst here could simply be the fact that Panama don’t travel well. The visitors have lost four of their last five on the road, while they’ve won just two of their last ten. What’s more, other than scoring five away at minnows Grenada, Panama have scored just one in their last five and have conceded a rather poor eight. What with Wales capable of turning it on at home, the visitors are expected to struggle.
They may be without talisman Gareth Bale, but Wales aren’t short of attacking talent, with the likes of Aaron Ramsey and Tom Lawrence pushing forward. Against a poor travelling team, the Welsh could resume winning ways.
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