Wales v USA: Draw could be best although 26/1 Bale bet is a must

Another close game beckons when Wales take on the USA in a friendly on Thursday night, says Dave Tindall...

Wales v USA
Thursday, 19:45
Live on BT S4C

Bale back but Giggs not involved

A rearranged home clash with the USA starts a quickfire run of three games for Wales.

Wednesday's match at Swansea's Liberty Stadium is followed by Nations League games against the Republic of Ireland and Finland.

In that sense, this friendly against the Americans is the least important and one where they could experiment.

The likelihood of that is raised by the Welsh being in pole position in their Nations League group.

The build-up to this game revolves around two of the most famous names in Welsh football.

Gareth Bale returns to the fold having missed the last three internationals.

He played no football at all between September 6th and October 18th but has now had a part in six Spurs games to try and get his fitness up.

But while Bale returns, boss Ryan Giggs won't be in the dugout. The Football Association of Wales said it had been "mutually agreed" that he wouldn't take charge after his arrest on suspicion of assault.

In terms of other key team news, Aaron Ramsey misses out with a minor injury.

USA lack match action

This game was originally due to take place in March before the coronavirus pandemic changed everything.

That's significant because it means the United States haven't actually played international football since a 1-0 win over Costa Rica in February.

That will be frustrating for boss Gregg Berhalter as the USA were on a three-game win streak following earlier convincing victories over Cuba (4-0 away) and Canada (4-1 at home).

Overall, he's won 12 of his 19 games in charge.

In terms of familiar faces, Chelsea's Christian Pulisic will hopefully be in contention.

However, the injury-prone attacking midfielder has missed the Blues' last three games since scoring away to FK Krasnodar in the Champions League.

Wales one-point favourites

Wales are 2.4 to get the win, which makes them exactly a point shorter than the visitors.

The USA are 3.4 to triumph, while The Draw is fractionally shorter at 3.2.

Looking at the various ways of trying to assess them, the FIFA world rankings shows them just two places apart: Wales are 20th and the USA 22nd.

In terms of head-to-heads, the two teams have met just once previously.

That one went the way of the USA, who scored a 2-0 win over a Welsh side managed by Mark Hughes in 2003.

Generally, the Americans have a patchy record against home nations sides having won just one of the last seven. That also features three defeats and three draws.

Perhaps the dominant trend here is that Wales have a great recent record at home; they've won six of the last seven.

However, given that Wales have their eye on a bigger prize (qualification from the Nations League), I'll back Biden's boys (can we say that yet?) to get a draw.

True, there may be some rust but the USA should have a very together camp and recent results show promise.

Unders looks likely

Wales games tend to have very few goals and four of the last five have produced just one - that comprises three 1-0 wins for the Welsh and a 0-0 draw with the Republic of Ireland.

Four of those games were away but it's a similar trend at home with six of the last seven having fewer than three goals.

Therefore Under 2.5 goals is predictably short at only 1.62.

The USA's results give more hope for those wanting the net to bust, and Over 2.5 is 2.32.

Same Game Multi market throws up Bale bet

With three 1-0 wins to their name in the last five internationals, that scoreline has to be worth a little look in what should be a tight game.

Bale to score first in a 1-0 win pays a hefty 26.43 on the Same Game Multi and that's worth adding. Although I like the draw, Wales nicking it is another likely scenario and the price can't be ignored.

Star man Bale has eight goals in his last 13 home matches for Wales.

There's a chance they'll save him for the bigger games but he needs minutes and perhaps Bale could get the first hour.

For the USA, Jordan Morris has scored in four of his last five games for his country, including a double in his last appearance against Cuba last November.

Opta Stat

Wales have won six of their last seven home games (D1), conceding just two goals during this period - the Dragons last went eight without defeat on home soil between October 2013 - October 2015, under Chris Coleman.

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