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Talking points as Wales gear up for the crucial clash in Turkey on Monday evening

18 Jun 2023 3 minute read
Wales manager Rob Page during the shock defat at home to Armenia . Photo Adam Davy/PA Wire.r.

Phil Blanche

Wales are back in Euro 2024 qualifying action away to Turkey on Monday.

Rob Page’s side are bidding to recover from their shock home defeat to Armenia on Friday against the Group D leaders.

Here, we look at the main talking points surrounding the crucial game in Samsun.

Page must strike right balance

This time last year Wales boss Page was basking in the glow of guiding Wales to their first World Cup for 64 years. How times have changed.

Wales have won only once in 11 games and Page’s tactics have come under intense scrutiny.

Reverting to three at the back and playing two holding midfielders in front of them might provide Wales with the solidity they have so woefully lacked over the past 12 months.


There is no Kieffer Moore after the Bournemouth targetman was sent off against Armenia to earn a ban.

Moore’s absence might actually work in Wales’ favour in this instance should Page bolster his defence and pack the midfield.

That could give Wales a strong base to release the pace of Brennan Johnson and Daniel James on the break.

Should Danny ward off Wayne?

Danny Ward’s miserable season suffered further indignity as four goals flashed past him in Armenia’s stunning Cardiff success.

Ward’s struggle for form at relegated Leicester saw him lose his place there towards the end of the season and his confidence levels must be a real concern for Page.

Wayne Hennessey is the obvious replacement but the 108-times capped veteran – sent off on his last appearance at the World Cup in Qatar – has spent most of the season warming the bench at Nottingham Forest.

Revenge or repeat?

The two nations have met seven times with Wales winning four games to Turkey’s two and one draw.

Their last meeting came two years ago as Aaron Ramsey and Connor Roberts scored in a 2-0 Wales victory at the delayed 2020 European Championship, securing qualification for the knockout stage at Turkey’s expense.

So Turkey have that extra motivation of avenging that Baku defeat in front of what is sure to be a volatile crowd at the Samsun 19 Mayis Stadium.

Balance of power

This contest has the appearance of a defining fixture to make next summer’s European Championship finals in Germany.

Wales’ promising start with four points from two games, which included a bonus draw away to group favourites Croatia, was blown apart by the Armenia defeat.

Turkey are now on the front foot after grabbing a stoppage-time winner to beat Latvia 3-2 on Friday, and victory would take them five points clear of Wales in a potential race behind Croatia for the second qualifying spot.

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