Wales vs Austria preview, betting tips and prediction: Wales to keep faint qualification hopes alive

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Wales in the second half @ 14/1 with Coral

Wales and BTTS @ 21/5 with Coral

Gareth Bale to score first @ 13/8 with Coral

Wales were flying high after Euro 2016, and their semi final appearance felt like the start of a new era. Gareth Bale is the obvious talisman, but he has struggled for fitness for quite a while and Chris Coleman’s side are looking very unlikely to repeat the trick and reach the World Cup in Russia next summer.

They currently find themselves in third place on eight points, joint with their opponents in this one who are fourth and four points behind leaders Serbia and second placed Republic of Ireland. Victory might set up a chase in the final four games, but it looks unlikely given Bale’s fitness issues and the form of those ahead. Serbia and Ireland have won three and drawn three each, while staggeringly Wales are also unbeaten, but have drawn five of their six outings.

Austria were also flying heading into the Euros after breezing through qualification, but have faltered. They have lost two of their games and only won once, so it is tough to back them for a victory as they head to Cardiff.

As you can see with the odds, there is healthy value in backing Wales. The most likely outcome on paper appears to be a draw, which can be found at 2/1 with Coral, but Bale’s presence gives Wales a lift as it always has. It will be tight and tense early on, with neither team having much form to call upon for confidence, but class tells late on and Bale should step up to aid our latter tips. Marko Arnautovic could be a threat for the visitors, who have conceded nine and scored eight goals, which points to both teams scoring in this one too.

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Hal Robson-Kanu appears to be Wales’ secret weapon and could start up front, but Sam Vokes’ two strikes against Chelsea for Burnley on the opening day of the season could give him the nod. Both have been in the goals already this season.

Key battle: Marko Arnautovic vs Gareth Bale

These two will not come up against each other directly, but they will be crucial to the outcome of the game as already mentioned. Both have played five qualification games to date, with Bale netting four goals and Arnautovic three. Whoever takes the game by the scruff of the neck in the first half could drive their team on. David Alaba, a fullback who plays in midfield internationally, will come up against Aaron Ramsey, which could also have a huge impact on the game.

Either way, it will be a close game and Wales must change their drawing habit quickly.

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