WALES 2 UKRAINE 1

THERE have been so many bad luck stories over the years so surely all that has got to change on Sunday evening.

Joe Jordan’s handball and the Football Association of Wales' ridiculous decision to play that game at Anfield, again in 1985 when the Scots had us on the rocks for a second time while who remembers sticking one of those ‘Follow Me and Wales to Spain’ promos on your bedroom window back in 1982?

Wales and the World Cup. It’s just not meant to be but that’s where it should all change this weekend as the nation waits anxiously to see if they can end 64 years of hurt. But standing in their way are Ukraine, who everyone else in the world wants to go through.

The Cardiff City Stadium has become a brilliant home for Wales and the fans - who follow their country home and abroad - are always right behind them.

That togetherness spreads out onto the pitch too where Wales will again look to Gareth Bale - who now has MBE after his name - to again fire the Dragons on what hopefully will be a night we’ll never forget.

NICK HARRISON

 

WALES 2 UKRAINE 0

IT’S hard to believe that it’s six years since Wales’ ‘summer to remember’ when Chris Coleman’s side enjoyed a brilliant run to the Euro 2016 semi-finals.

The likes of Gareth Bale, Aaron Ramsey and Joe Allen are still doing a good job on the international stage but this is their last chance to qualify for a World Cup.

The old guard played their part as Rob Page’s Dragons secured a play-off semi-final against Austria where Bale once again rose to the occasion with a brace to seal victory.

Standing between Wales qualifying for the World Cup for the first time since 1958 are war-torn Ukraine but don’t bet against the younger generation playing their part in securing a place in Qatar.

Brennan Johnson, among others, had a superb season helping Nottingham Forest clinch promotion to the Premier League and the future is bright with Neco Williams and others benefitting from regular game-time at club level.

Now it is time for old and new to come together and finish the job off.

RICHARD WILLIAMS

 

WALES 2 UKRAINE 1

IAN RUSH deserved to play at a World Cup Finals, but didn’t get the opportunity.

That’s the same for greats such as Neville Southall, Ryan Giggs and Mark Hughes. John Charles got that chance in 1958 as Wales reached the quarter-finals - and Gareth Bale deserves that opportunity in Qatar over the winter.

One big hurdle stands between the Dragons and that elusive prize on Sunday, but I’ve got every confidence that Wales will book their spot in the same group as England, the United States and Iran.

The Cardiff City Stadium will be a cauldron come Sunday afternoon and we’ll be keen to demonstrate that we’re Yma o Hyd!

It won’t be straight-forward and there will be plenty of nervous moments. Even so, as he did in the play-off eliminator against Austria, Bale will be the difference between the teams as Wales qualify.

SHAUN DAVIES