Weblog: The football punter

Wales v Trinidad & Tobago preview

Sky Sports Football/Main Event, 7.45pm Wednesday
International friendly

Wales have some massive matches on their 2019 schedule but there will not be much tension in the air at the Racecourse Ground where they take on Trinidad & Tobago in a friendly.

The contest offers one last chance for Ryan Giggs to finalise his plans for Euro 2020 qualifying, which starts with a key Group E clash with Slovakia at the Cardiff City Stadium on Sunday.

Giggs would prefer his team to go into the Slovakia match in a confident frame of mind but will be mindful of protecting senior players. Key men are unlikely to play the full 90 minutes but there is greater depth to the Welsh squad these days, especially in the attacking positions.

Gareth Bale is the talisman - Aaron Ramsey is unavailable due to a thigh injury - but there is an exciting, youthful supporting cast with Harry Wilson, David Brooks and Tyler Roberts competing for places.

Wilson, Brooks and Roberts have made excellent progress this season and, given a further 15 months to develop, they could have major roles to play at Euro 2020.

Giggs has to keep his players' feet on the ground and make sure they don't miss the party – as was the case at last summer's World Cup.

Taking on such a vibrant Welsh side looks a tough test for Trinidad and Tobago, although their manager, Dennis Lawrence, will be desperate for his side to do well at a venue which holds a special place in his heart.

Lawrence played 196 games for Wrexham between 2001 and 2006 and became a popular figure with the supporters. He is assured of a warm reception and will be anxious for his players to do him justice.

Lawrence has spent three weeks with the domestic-based players to ensure they are fully prepared but his plans have been disrupted by the absence of first-choice left back Joevin Jones and pacy attacker Ataullah Guerra.

There is a lack of goals in the squad with forwards Lester Peltier (six in 37 games) and Willis Plaza (seven in 23) leading the Soca Warriors' scoring charts.

And, given the dearth of attacking quality, it is unlikely that the visitors will carve out many goalscoring opportunities.

Much of their evening could be spent defending although Lawrence, a former defender himself, should have the team well organised.

The Soca Warriors haven't conceded more than one goal in any of their last seven games and were fairly resolute in a 1-0 loss to Iran in Tehran last November.

They are likely to defend diligently against Wales, who may have to settle for a low-scoring victory.

Wales to win & under 3.5 goals

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Key stats
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Expert verdict
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