‘I think they’ll struggle’: How accurate were British pundits’ predictions about Wales?
Wales defied the predictions of many pundits when it clinched a place in the last 16 of Euro 2020 after coming second in its group.
Before the tournament kicked off, British sports radio station talkSPORT shared a video of its presenters on social media where they were asked: “How will Wales do at Euro 2020?”
But how accurate were they in assessing Wales’ chances of making it to the knockout stage of the tournament?
This is what they had to say:
“Wales will do very well!”
“Bale isn’t the player he was.”
How will Wales do at Euro 2020? 🏴
Our presenters give their predictions.
— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) June 11, 2021
Former Scottish international footballer Ally McCoist said: “Wales are in a tough group. I can see Wales finishing third.
“They’re in a tough, tough section. I think Turkey are probably an underrated team as well. But I think Wales could qualify in third place.”
Former England international Stuart Pearce said: “Form will probably dictate. They’ll be delighted to get out of the group. They’ve got a real tough, tough… certainly the travelling implications of that will be tough for Wales, but listen, I think it’s quite a wide-open tournament.”
English broadcaster Adrian Durham said: “Wales, they’ll be hoping for the euphoria of 2016, but I just can’t see it really, and Bale’s not the player he was. I just can’t see them getting out of the group – sorry.”
Former Tottenham Hotspur player Darren Bent said: “I think they’ll struggle. Listen, they’ve got Gareth Bale. We know that he can do magical things, and Aaron Ramsey. They’ve got quite a good squad. Again, I can’t see them getting out of their group.
“But again another home nation that’s there. It makes it interesting. I just think they’ll struggle a little bit. I don’t think they’ve got the strength in depth to win. But again seeing Wales in a major competition is still special.”
English businessman and former Crystal Palace owner Simon Jordan said: “I hope that Wales do well, and in the event that they don’t I hope we’re all as gracious as they were when they were singing when England got knocked out and losing to Iceland in the last Euros.”
talkSPORT presenter Laura Woods said: “Gareth Bale has basically been banging on about this all season hasn’t he, that he came to Spurs, he wanted to be Euros ready, all that sort of stuff. I’m going to say for Wales, I’m going to be bold and say quarter final.”
Former Chelsea player Jason Cundy said: “Gareth Bale is their talisman. He’s had his issues with fitness over the years and another tone or two of the Welsh players.
“But they’ve got another I think very exciting young side coming, so they might surprise a few, Wales.”
Scottish presenter Jim White said: “It’ll be very interesting to see what Wales do because you think of Wales and you think of one man, Gareth Bale, and if you’ve got Gareth Bale in your team, you could virtually do anything. So Wales might well progress from their group and if they do that’ll be an incredible achievement.”
Former Manchester City player Trevor Sinclair said: “Wales have done well, obviously with the stand in manager getting through to the Euro finals. Again I think they’re in a really difficult group and they’ll do well to get out of the group.”
Wales will play Denmark for a place in the quarter finals on Saturday, 26th June at the Johan Cruyff Arena, Amsterdam.