Wales are ready to embrace their underdog status once again as they ready themselves to face Denmark in their Euro 2020 last-16 clash in Amsterdam this evening. Five years on from their memorable run to the semi-finals, Robert Page is hoping his side can cause another upset today.
Wales’ experiences at Euro 2016 are bound to be useful going into this tournament’s first knock-out tie at The Johan Cruijff ArenA.
Page’s side have looked just as motivated and determined this time around, qualifying second from Group A behind Italy thanks to a 1-1 draw with Switzerland and an impressive 2-0 win over Turkey.
They will be the outsiders in several senses in Amsterdam for the 5pm kick-off. COVID-19 travel restrictions have prevented Wales fans from travelling to the Netherlands, while Christian Eriksen’s cardiac arrest has united the footballing world behind Denmark.
It will be a true away game for Wales, who have lost their only two previous matches in Amsterdam and Page has issued a rallying cry in the build-up to the match.
“We are ready for a battle because it is going to be a battle,” said Wales’ interim manager.
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The 23-year-old has been a real leader at the back for Page’s side, playing 90 minutes in all three of their matches so far.
With Ethan Ampadu suspended following his red card against Italy, Rodon is likely to be partnered by Chris Mepham against Denmark.
The Stoke City midfielder is an experienced, tenacious and disciplined presence in Wales’ midfield.
Allen is given a simple but important brief: to sweep up in front of the defence and try to keep it once Wales have the ball. It is a role he is only too happy to perform.
Joe Morrell has so far excelled alongside him and the midfield pairing will be key to their chances.
Denmark showed what they can do if given space to run into in their 4-1 thrashing of Russia. Allen will have to marshal the midfield to the best of his abilities.
The difference between Ramsey with his club and country is huge. The central midfielder struggled with Juventus last season, but his importance for Wales is obvious.
With Allen and Morrell sitting, Ramsey has licence to break the lines and make dangerous late runs into the box.
After missing a brilliant chance, he scored the opening goal against Turkey and will be one of Wales’ biggest threats against Denmark.
Wales’ biggest threat is, of course, Bale. The Real Madrid forward is another who reserves his best performances for his country and has been in sensational form at Euro 2020 so far.
The 31-year-old assisted both of Wales’ goals in their crucial win over Turkey and has the creativity to conjure opportunities from any spot on the pitch.
Bale’s threat lies in his pace and left foot, but he has also shown his eye for a through-ball during the tournament.
With Kieffer Moore likely to start up front, Bale’s delivery at set pieces could prove to be a crucial factor.
Wales possible starting lineup: Ward; Roberts, Mepham, Rodon, Davies; Allen, Morrell; James, Ramsey, Bale; Moore