Preview: Gibraltar vs. Wales – prediction, team news, lineups


Sports Mole previews Thursday’s friendly clash between Gibraltar and Wales, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Wales commence their preparations for the UEFA Nations League later this year with a friendly against international minnows Gibraltar.

Although the Dragons will be expecting to record a convincing win, their opponents suggested earlier this week they are capable of frustrating Rob Page‘s side on Thursday.

Match preview

© Reuters

Given their inconsistent performances during the opening games of qualifying, Wales could have few complaints when it came to missing out in the Euro 2024 playoffs.

The frustration likely stems from having gone into their showdown with Poland on a seven-match unbeaten run stretching all the way back to September.

That was extended to eight as Wales and Poland played out a goalless draw across 120 minutes in Cardiff, only for the hosts to heartbreakingly lose on penalties.

Although they would have faced a daunting group that features France, Netherlands and Austria, Page and his squad will feel the pain of watching from the sidelines when the tournament gets underway on June 14.

Nevertheless, their current focus can be on preparing for a Nations League campaign against Turkey, Montenegro and Iceland, a reunion with Turkey the notable double-header having failed to overcome them in two games last year.

Meanwhile, Gibraltar head into the encounter at Estadio Do Algarve in Almancil looking to end a 13-match losing streak on the international stage.

One of the global minnows have failed to score in any of those encounters, their last goal coming in a 1-0 triumph over Andorra back in November 2022.

Nevertheless, positives can be taken from their most recent three fixtures with just four strikes being conceded in two narrow defeats to Lithuania and the 2-0 reverse to Scotland on Monday.

The Tartan Army required almost an hour to make the breakthrough, with Gibraltar’s increasing sturdiness highlighted by going three games without conceding in the first half.

These two nations squared off in a friendly as recently as October, with Wales running out 4-0 victors in Wrexham on that occasion.

Gibraltar form (all competitions):

Wales form (all competitions):

Team News

Wales' Joe Rodon during the warm up on March 21, 2024© Reuters

Bolton Wanderers midfielder Josh Sheehan, with just five substitute outings for Wales to his name, will captain the side, presumably in place of Ethan Ampadu.

That seems to suggest that an inexperienced side will be selected by Page, with five players – Matt Baker, Jay Dasilva, Fin Stevens, Charlie Crew and Lewis Koumas – all in contention for a debut.

The likes of Ben Cabango and Rabbi Matondo may be provided with game time, with Liam Cullen leading the attack.

Barring any fitness issues, Julio Cesar Ribas may be prepared to name the same Gibraltar XI that held off Scotland’s advances for 58 minutes.

Kian Ronan, of National League North side King’s Lynn Town, is an option to come into the team on the right-hand side if Ribas wants to introduce some fresh legs.

Gibraltar possible starting lineup:
Hankins; Jolley, Lopes, Olivero, Sergeant, Britto; Ronan, Walker, Annesley, Scanlon; De Barr

Wales possible starting lineup:
A.Davies; Low, Cabango, Baker; Stevens, Sheehan, J.James, Dasilva; Matondo, Cullen, Koumas

SM words green background

We say: Gibraltar 0-3 Wales

Having restricted Scotland for the first half of Monday’s friendly, Gibraltar will be encouraged ahead of this contest. However, if Wales can open the scoring during the early stages, you would expect them to cruise to a morale-boosting win.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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