Wales v Estonia: Bale can help Dragons outscore visitors

Wales v Estonia: Bale can help Dragons outscore visitors

Wales v Estonia
Wednesday, 19:45
Live on S4C

Wales seeking maximum haul after Belarus drama

It was looking grim for Wales against Belarus on Sunday.

With a host of players missing through injury, suspension, Covid and visa problems, the visitors found themselves 2-1 down with just a quarter of the game to play.

The long, long trip to Kazan in Russia (the game had been moved from Belarus) had added to their difficulties and perhaps this just wasn’t meant to be.

But Gareth Bale slotted home his second penalty of the match on 69 and late in added time he swung his lethal left boot at a cross to complete a hat-trick.

For a split second, Daniel James thought Bale’s shot had been saved and the new Leeds signing put his hands to his head. A beat later, James was punching the air in celebration after realising the ball had squirmed under the goalkeeper and three crucial points had been pinched.

Such fine margins but full credit to Wales for getting themselves out of an extremely tricky situation.

In truth, it would surely be a miracle for them to overhaul leaders Belgium in World Cup Qualifying Group E but they now have a live chance to clinch second place ahead of the Czech Republic.

The Czechs are a point ahead but Wales have two games in hand and, with their group rivals not in action on Wednesday, this is the chance for Robert Page’s men to go two points clear.

Estonia games full of goals

Estonia have been thrashed 6-2 home by the Czechs and 5-2 on their own patch by Belgium.

Their leaky defence also shipped four goals in a 4-2 loss away to Belarus so they’ve conceded an average of five per game in their three matches so far!

A kinder spin on that is that they’ve averaged two goals per game themselves.

Still, at this point they’re rock bottom with nil points and their limitations were exposed in a 1-0 home defeat in a friendly against Northern Ireland on Sunday although they made seven changes from the side which got humped by Belgium.

And, before they’re written off too readily, Estonia managed a hat-trick of wins in June, beating Lithuania and Finland 1-0 on their travels and beating Latvia 2-1 at home.

Wales only just got it done against Belarus but Page will have some players back and, of course, this is Cardiff not Kazan.

Wales are just 1.21/5 for the win against Estonia 2120/1, who are ranked 110th in the world rankings. The Draw is 7.8.

In the correct score market, a 2-0 Wales win is the lowest price at 5.59/2 so that’s viewed as the sweet spot.

A 3-0 win is 6.86/1 while, given Estonia’s heavy defeats so far, Any Other Home Win at 4.1 may generate some interest. That would involve Wales scoring at least four.

As for head-to-heads, Wales have won both meetings although only by the odd goal. The first was a 2-1 away win back in 1994 while the most recent was a 1-0 friendly success in 2009 when Robert Earnshaw’s penalty settled the outcome.

The obvious way of trying to get some sort of decent price in an odds mismatch like this is asking if the underdog is capable of getting on the scoresheet.

From the evidence so far in this group, Estonia certainly can. Not only have they found the net frequently but Wales were carved open rather easily by Belarus on several occasions.

The boost in price is significant as, from untouchable 1/6 shots, Wales are a quite acceptable 12/5 in the Match Odds and Both teams to Score market on the Sportsbook.

That’s certainly worth a look but I won’t ignore the basic Both teams to Score market at 3.02/1 on the exchange and that’s my opening bet.

In the preview of the Belarus match, I noted that Bale hadn’t scored in his last 16 games at international level, a stretch which went back almost two years.

He put that right in spectacular fashion with his second hat-trick for Wales and, to be honest, it didn’t exactly come out of the blue.

Bale looks to be enjoying life at Real Madrid again under former boss Carlo Ancelotti and netted in his second game of the campaign away to Levante.

Let’s try and cash in on Bale’s bounceback via the Bet Builder.

The combination worth a try is Bale to score, Wales to win and both teams to score at 4.216/5.

A Dan James version of the same bet pays 5.85/1 but Bale looks the man with the mojo.