Preview: Serbia v Wales

serbia v cymru
Sion Richards

Sion Richards

Sunday, 11 Jun 2017, 14:20

Wales will travel to the Rajko Mitić Satdium in Belgrade this Sunday (11th of June) in their sixth group D World Cup qualifier.

Join Dylan Ebenezer, former international goalkeeper Dai Davies and former international midfielder Owain Tudur Jones for a live broadcast of the group D fixture this Sunday at 19:15 on S4C, with kick off at 19:45.

After four draws and a win Wales are third in group D, four points behind group leaders Serbia and the Republic of Ireland who share the top spot with 11 points.

Chris Coleman’s side are yet to lose a game in this qualifying campaign, but Wales will need to find a winning formula in their up and coming games to keep the dream of World Cup football alive.

Only the group D winners will secure their place in next year’s World Cup in Russia, with the eight second best placed teams from nine groups progressing into the play-offs.

DUBLIN, REPUBLIC OF IRELAND - Friday, March 24, 2017: Wales' manager Chris Coleman before the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying Group D match against Republic of Ireland at the Aviva Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Team news
Wales’ talisman, Gareth Bale will be miss the Serbia Clash after picking up two yellow cards.

Bale’s influence on the side is evident in the goals he scores. The Real Madrid man has scored four of Wales’ eight goals in the qualifying campaign so far and his absence will be a huge blow for Chris Coleman.

CARDIFF, WALES - Saturday, November 12, 2016: Wales' Gareth Bale scores the first goal against Serbia during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying Group D match at the Cardiff City Stadium. (Pic by Alun Roberts/Propaganda)

Neil Taylor is also missing from the trip to Belgrade after picking up a red card in the game against the Republic of Ireland.

Chris Coleman has named five uncapped players for the game – Joe Walsh (MK Dons), Tom Lockyer (Bristol Rovers), Gethin Jones (Everton), Lee Evans (Wolves) a Ben Woodburn (Lerpwl).

Head to head stats
Wales have never beaten Serbia / Serbia & Montenegro or Yugoslavia, playing 9 games, losing five and four draws.

Serbia scored a late equaliser to salvage a point in a 1-1 draw in last Novemeber clash in the City of Cardiff Stadium, Aleksander Mitrovic cancelling Gareth Bale’s first half strike.

In the World Cup 2014 qualifiers Serbia won both games – beating Wales 6-1 in Novi Sad and 0-3 in Cardiff.

Since losing 0-3 to Serbia in 2013 Wales have only lost one qualifying game, playing 17, winning eight, drawing eight and an infamous loss to Bosnia-Herzegovina (2-0) were Wales secured their place in Euro 2016 due to other results.

One to watch: Dušan Tadić
Tadic has scored four and assisted seven times, being involved in 11 of Serbia’s 12 goals in this qualifying campaign.

The Southampton midfielder scored his first international goal against Wales in the 6-1 defeat in Novi Sad in 2012. He has now gained 43 caps and scored 11 goals for Serbia.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, January 25, 2017: Southampton's Dusan Tadic in action against Liverpool during the Football League Cup Semi-Final 2nd Leg match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Aleksander Mitrovic is another Serbian to keep an eye out for. Mitrovic has scored four in his last four appearances for Serbia, including a goal against Wales back in November 2016.

Owain Tudur Jones’ pre-match comments.
Former Wales international footballer Owain Tudur Jones has backed Aaron Ramsey to take up the mantle of being Wales’ main attacking spark against Serbia, in the absence of the suspended Gareth Bale.

Former Swansea City and Norwich City midfielder Tudur Jones said: “Gareth Bale being suspended is obviously a huge blow. He’s the talisman and he’s the go-to-guy. We have to deal with that and adapt to that. The big question is who comes in for Gareth Bale? We’ve been without big players before, so it’s not new to us. The problem is that no one else does what Gareth Bale does.

“Someone else will have to assume that ‘main man’ role, that spark of creativity and I think Aaron Ramsey will do that. He’s bang on form and after scoring the winner in the FA Cup final, he’ll be flying. We’ll have both Joes behind him in midfield, and Sam Vokes and Hal Robson-Kanu together up front, so there will be room for someone beside Aaron behind the front two. That player could be Tom Lawrence, who’s had a great season at Ipswich.”

Join Dylan Ebenezer, former international goalkeeper Dai Davies and former international midfielder Owain Tudur Jones for a live broadcast of the group D fixture between Serbia and Wales this Sunday at 19:15, with kick off at 19:45.

Sgorio Rhyngwladol: Serbia v Cymru
Sunday night 11 June 7.15, S4C
Available to watch on-demand at s4c.cymru, iPlayer and other platforms
A Rondo Media production for S4C