Giggs' Wales look to continue steady progress as important qualifiers beckon
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Ryan Giggs' leap into management has started relatively well considering his inexperience in the role and the amount of changes he's tried to introduce into the setup, with a strong emphasis on promoting youth it seems. The Welsh setup is certainly a fresh one, with the Manchester United legend at the forefront of it with his fresh ideas and vastly knowledgeable football mind having worked under Sir Alex Ferguson for so many years.
It hasn't been all plain sailing for Giggs' Wales side, though, with defeat against Denmark in particular bringing the squad and supporters back down to earth a tad, but the loss provided the kick up the backside the players needed and since then results have been positive.
Narrow 1-0 wins against Trinidad & Tobago and, most notably, Slovakia, have restored belief in 'Giggsy's' methods moving forward and reignited the fans as vital Euro 2020 qualifiers are on the horizon.
Below is a preview of both qualifiers as Wales look to build on their 100% record in their qualifying campaign so far and book their place at Euro 2020 - a competition which will be spread across dozens of venues, with the final being played at Wembley Stadium on July 12, 2020.
Croatia vs Wales - Saturday, June 8
The first of two tricky encounters for Giggs' Welsh team, Croatia will be an incredibly tough place to go. The World Cup finalists, who possess an abundance of quality, are favourites to top the group and will pose a real threat to Wales' defence in particular. Luka Modric is the obvious danger man but there are other threats all over the pitch.
Wales will be hoping the likes of Gareth Bale can get back to full fitness if they're to stand any chance of success in Croatia, with youngsters such as Harry Wilson, Ethan Ampadu and Tyler Roberts needed to step up to the plate also. Aaron Ramsey will also be key to Wales' chances, with the Juventus bound midfielder more than capable of pulling the strings from midfield in Croatia.
A win away in Croatia could set Wales up nicely for a group winning campaign. The latest odds from the bookmakers featured at https://freebets.uk/ sees Wales at 4/1 with Unibet to top the group, but Paddy Power gives the Welsh a bit more of a chance at 11/4. However, Croatia, who are priced at 2/5 to finish in first place and pip Wales to the post, are surely the team to beat.
Hungary vs Wales - Tuesday, June 11
Another tough trip on the road for Giggs' Wales team, Hungary could be a must-win game depending on the result in the previous game against Croatia. Regardless, this is a game Wales must be looking to win if
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they're to build on their evident progress under Ryan Giggs and challenge for top spot in the group.
Hungary shouldn't pose too much of a threat, but in a tricky, tight atmosphere anything is possible, especially against a relatively inexperienced Welsh team. The Hungarians are certainly one of the underdogs of the group though, with odds on them winning it currently being priced at 22/1 (bet365), with Azerbaijan's prospects of qualification clearly rated as even more unlikely after odds of 250/1 (skybet) are being offered.
Wales are at the start of an exciting new chapter under Ryan Giggs' guidance, but these next two games coming up really could tell fans, and Giggs himself, exactly where this new-look Welsh side is at. Now is the time for senior players to lead from the front and the younger prospects to step up to the plate and demonstrate their abilities on a bigger, more testing stage.