Soccer UEFA Euro Qualification - Group Stage
Wales vs Armenia - Match Preview
⚽ 16 June 2023 - 18:45 GMT +0
Having tasted World Cup action in Qatar in 2022, Wales will be eyeing up qualification for a third successive major tournament after their Euro 2020 jaunt ended in the last-16. They’ve made a strong start to their Euro 2024 qualification campaign, picking up four points from a possible six, with the draw in that run coming away against the group’s highest-ranked side, Croatia (1-1).
A much simpler task on paper now presents itself, as Wales faces FIFA’s #97 ranked side Armenia bidding to preserve their seven-match unbeaten run in European qualifiers (W4, D3). You’d fully expect them to do the job given their last defeat on home turf in a Euro qualification game came back in 2011, but a narrow 1-0 win against a Latvia side ranked 35 places worse off than Armenia in their last such game back in March perhaps shows some vulnerability.
Still yet to partake at any major international tournament, Armenia’s start to life under new boss Oleksandr Petrakov (D1, L1) suggests their long wait is likely to continue. That sole defeat came in their only Group D clash to date, and while that 2-1 loss to Turkey perhaps seemed respectable on the face of it given the clear gulf in class, it still served to extend their losing run in Euro qualifiers to four matches.
Hope perhaps springs eternal that they can bring an end to that run here in Cardiff, as both prior H2H meetings between these sides ended. For that to happen though, Armenia will likely have to find their shooting boots, as they’ve failed to keep a clean sheet in away Euro qualifiers dating back to 2011, including an eye-watering 9-1 defeat against Italy in their last such game!
📋 Players to watch: Only Aaron Ramsey in the current Wales squad has scored more than one goal in European qualifiers and he has opened the scoring on eight of his last ten international scoring appearances. Likewise, in the Armenia camp, Tigran Barseghyan is the only Armenian player to register more than one all-time Euro qualification goal, with his three scoring appearances in such games seeing him net his side’s last goal.
⚡ Hot streak: Armenia has conceded at least twice in nine-straight internationals (D2, L7).
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