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Russia v Wales: Shooting efficiency to secure a Wales win

| 20.06.2016

That last-minute Daniel Sturridge winner for England against Wales means Chris Coleman’s men head into their final Group B game against Russia with their Euro 2016 participation in the balance.

Win, and they would top the group if the Three Lions drop points against Slovakia, but lose and there’s a possibility they could hold the wooden spoon.

Thankfully, they face arguably the worst-looking side in the tournament in Leonid Slutsky’s Russia, who haven’t scored either of their goals earlier than the 80th minute and average just two shots on target per match.

That’s three less than the Welsh have averaged in their two games in the competition, while the undeniable star quality provided by Gareth Bale gives the Dragons the edge.

However, that’s not Ladbrokes’ view, who make Russia 13/8 to win the match and Wales the 2/1 outsiders.

Perhaps it’s the historical record between the teams that swings the odds the Russians’ way, having won each of the last three battles with Wales by an aggregate 6-2 scoreline.

This result won’t be determined by history though and the efficiency that Wales have shown in attack means that taking the 2/1 price on them prevailing is a must for the match.

Just six teams have averaged more shots on target than Wales, who have been more accurate in their shooting than both Italy and France so far.

The 9.5 shots Wales have on goal per match is among the worst tallies at the Euros, but the side take a quality-over-quantity approach, which will benefit them against Russia.

The Bears are taking more attempts on average than the Welsh, with 10.5 per match, but are only firing two of those on target.

And with the Welsh sure to sit in and defend like they did against England, backing Bale and co to prevail on the break looks the way to go.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.