World Cup 2018: Who could Wales face?

International Football – UEFA Euro 2016 – Qualifying Round Group B – Israel v Wales
Gary Pritchard

Gary Pritchard

Friday, 24 Jul 2015, 11:39

Despite there being four games remaining in the Euro 2016 qualifying campaign, Chris Coleman will find out on Saturday who will stand between Wales and World Cup qualification in 2018.

And for the first time ever, Wales will be amongst the top seeds when the draw is made in St Pettersburg.

Coleman already knows that Wales won’t , therefore, have to face the World Champions, Germany, nor a team who have a 100% record against Wales; the Netherlands.

But who will Coleman and his team want to avoid from the other groups?

The obvious teams to avid in Pot 2 are France and Italy, the two former World Champions would certainly make life difficult for Wales, but we would also do well to avoid Iceland.

Under Lars Lagerbäck and Heimir Hallgrímsson Iceland – who have Swansea’s Gylfi Sigurðsson and Cardiff City’s Aron Gunnarsson in their squad – sit on top of their Euro 2016 qualifying group, a group which contains the Netherlands, Turkey and the Czech Republic.

Somehow or other, Poland have found themselves in Pot 3, despite the fact that they too sit on top of their Euro 2016 qualifying group and have beaten the World Champions, Germany, in the opening mathces of the group in October 2014.

Albania, a team who have never beaten Wales (okay, we’ve only played them twice!), would be the ideal opponents from Pot 3, but with Greece having lost twice to the Faroe Islands recently, I’m sure Chris Coleman and Osian Roberts wouldn’t be afraid of a trip to Athens either.

There are several teams who could cause problems for Wales in Pot 4 – amongst them are Turkey and the Republic of Ireland. And despite the Faroe Islands not being the puishovers of old, I’m sure Coleman would be happier with a trip to Tórshavn than Istanbul.

And the same thing is true in Pot 5 where Finland and Cyprus are lurking. Despite losing in Macedonia during the 2014 World Cup qualifiers, a trip to Skopje would satisfy Wales … or at least it would satisfy the fans, who had a great time in the city!

And talking of the fans, many will be hoping for Lithuania to pop up from Pot 5 so as to be able to tick another country off the visited list as Wales and Lithuania have yet to meet in a full international.

And for the very same reason, many fans will be hoping for Kazakhstan out of Pot 6, even if the Welsh officials will be more concerned by the logistical nightmare of a trip to Astana than a new stamp in their passports!

Who would you like to see in Wales’ group? Get in touch via our Facebook page or on Twitter by tweeting @sgorio.

POT1: Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, England, WALES, Spain, Croatia

POT 2: Slovakia, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, Czech Republic, France, Iceland, Denmark, Bosnia and Herzegovina

POT 3: Ukraine, Scotland, Poland, Hungary, Sweden, Albania, Northern Ireland, Serbia, Greece

POT 4: Turkey, Slovenia, Israel, Republic of Ireland, Norway, Bulgaria, Faroe Islands, Montenegro, Estonia

POT 5: Cyprus, Latvia, Armenia, Finland, Belarus, Macedonia, Azerbaijan, Lithuania, Moldova

POT 6: Kazakhstan, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, Georgia, Malta, San Marino, Andorra