Football tips: Bale to be Wales hero again in winner takes all Finland clash

It's crunch time in the Nations League.


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Wales to win

In reality, Wales are quite fortunate to find themselves top of Group B4 heading into their decider against second-placed Finland. They have been uninspiring in almost every game they have played this year, snatching winners in the last 10 minutes in three of their four victories while they barely deserved the three points in an even game against Ireland on Sunday.

And yet they still find themselves on the brink of promotion to the top tier of the Nations League with an almost flawless record. Ryan Giggs’s side are yet to concede a goal in this season’s Nations League after five games and they have rarely looked like doing so. Only Shane Long’s sitter against the Welsh in Dublin really stands out as a moment when Wales’s defence looked breached.

Finland, on the other hand, have been flawless since their opening day defeat to Wales and can overtake their opponents with a win in Cardiff. The Finnish have been more clinical than Wales in front of goal, but they have also been more porous at the back and that could prove costly given that Wales have shown that they are clinical when the need to be and miserly in defence.


Under 2.5 goals

Under 2.5 goals seems just about the safest bet for any game in Group B4, which has proved to be by far the lowest-scoring group in the entire Nations League. Finland’s 2-1 over Bulgaria on Sunday marked the first time that a game returned three goals or more at the tenth time of asking. Of the other nine games in the group, six have finished 1-0, and the three remaining games have finished 0-0, 1-1, and 2-0. The group has been exceedingly dull and the prospects of that improving overnight are slim.

Wales have not conceded a goal in the competition and have now gone seven games without conceding a competitive goal. They have won 4-0 on four occasions in the Nations League and the chances of them suddenly opening up for a high-scoring shootout are non-existent. Finland, meanwhile, have only conceded twice in the Nations League and can hardly be described as charitable.

A 1-0 Wales win looks a very likely shot.


Gareth Bale Wales Nations League

Gareth Bale to score anytime

Bale was disappointingly anonymous in the 1-0 win over Ireland on Sunday and will no doubt be looking for a huge personal improvement on Wednesday night. His performance against the Irish was so disappointing given that he was by far and away the most talented player on the pitch, but he simply failed to cause problems for the Irish defence.

He did, however, rise highest to tee up David Brooks for the game’s only goal and seems to be a constant threat in the air. Bale is clearly far below his best following his return to competitive football after a long lay-off and he will only get better the more he plays.

He has proved to be Wales’s key man on some of their biggest nights and can help secure their promotion to the top tier of the Nations League by bagging the all-important goal on Wednesday. What’s more, with Wales’s struggling so badly in terms of a regular goalscorer, it is virtually impossible to justify backing anyone else.

*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widget, while in-copy odds are accurate at time of publication but subject to change

Wales v Finland tips

Wales to win
Under 2.5 goals
Gareth Bale to score anytime

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