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Wales v Iceland: Bale to once again breathe life into Dragons

| 05.03.2014

Wales manager Chris Coleman knows his team are in need of a morale-boosting victory before they embark upon their qualifying campaign for Euro 2016.

And the visit of Iceland could provide a much-needed tonic for a side searching for just a second victory in eight games when the two countries meet at the Cardiff City Stadium.

The hosts are 21/20 for the win, with the draw priced at 23/10 and an Iceland victory available at 14/5.

Lars Lagerback’s visitors travel to the Welsh capital having recently fought their way to a World Cup play-off against Croatia and although they eventually succumbed in the two-legged affair, the Scandinavians have shown they’re more than capable of upsetting the odds.

Coleman will be wary of the threat posed by a side who’ve become tough to beat, losing just two of their last eight internationals and one of their previous six on the road.

But with Real Madrid superstar Gareth Bale expected to line-up for the Dragons the beleaguered boss should be able to look forward to a positive result.

The £85.3m world record signing has been in scintillating form for his club of late, scoring a 30-yard screamer in his side’s recent 3-0 win over Elche before bagging a brace against Schalke in the Champions League.

Those strikes took Bale’s total goals scored for Madrid to 14 this season and the former Tottenham ace will be eager to continue in that vein.

The wing wizard is 4/1 to score first with Ladbrokes although he’s not the only in-form Wales player worthy of attention.

Burnley striker Sam Vokes has smashed in 18 goals in all competitions so far this term and is a 6/1 shout to open proceedings.

Meanwhile, Charlton forward Simon Church, scorer of the only goal in Wales ‘victory over Macedonia last October, is 6/1 to find the net first.

Another similarly low-scoring affair could be in store here given recent trends and the fact that the pair’s only previous meeting yielded the same 1-0 scoreline in favour of the Welsh back in 2008.

In their last six non-competitive matches on home soil the total has failed to go over the 2.5 goals mark while Iceland’s recent fixtures have been similarly light on goalmouth action with their previous five games featuring less than three goals.

Those statistics make the 4/6 on offer for under 2.5 goals here the potential steal of the evening.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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William Geldart

William contributed to a number of online football blogs before finally finding his pot of gold at the end of the rainbow alongside the rest of the Ladbrokes News team. Now indulging passions for football, horse racing, greyhounds, boxing and political betting. Supports Wycombe Wanderers and can be spotted at various lower league and non-league grounds across the country.