Wales to use Nations League to create ‘opportunity of a lifetime’ at World Cup

Published by
Peter Kavinsky

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Chris Mepham says Wales are looking to build momentum between their last two Nations League games and the World Cup.

Wales will face Belgium in Brussels on Thursday before concluding their Nations League campaign against Poland in Cardiff three days later.

As Wales, currently bottom of the A4, aim to secure their place in European football’s top flight, defender Mepham admits the country’s first World Cup for 64 years in November looms large. ‘horizon.

He said: “It can be hard to fully focus on these games when you have the opportunity of life around the corner, but these games are really important in refining what we need to work on.

“These are our last preparation games for the World Cup and it is important that we bring some momentum from them to Qatar.

“Hopefully we can give a good image of ourselves, get two decent results, and then there will be a lot of confidence in November and December.”

Wales are without injured quartet Aaron Ramsey, Ben Davies, Harry Wilson and Joe Allen against the World second team.

But Wales have a good recent record against the Red Devils, winning two, losing two and drawing four of their eight games over the past decade.

The two sides last met in June when Brennan Johnson’s late equalizer gave Wales a 1-1 Nations League draw at Cardiff.

Mepham said: “We know they’re a good team and they have amazing footballers, people like Kevin de Bruyne. I played against him at Man City and he absolutely ran the show.

Belgium midfielder Kevin de Bruyne has proven a thorn in the Wales squad in the past (David Davies/PA)

(PA Archive)

“But we’ve shown in the last two games that we can go along with them.”

Mepham has joined the Wales side after going from Bournemouth player in the Sky Bet Championship last season to Premier League regular this term.

The 24-year-old was on the wrong end of a 9-0 thrashing at Liverpool last month, in which he scored an own goal, but Bournemouth have since gone unbeaten in three games.

He said: “I think it’s a mental rollercoaster being a footballer. I wasn’t in the team last year, but I worked hard in pre-season.

“I put myself in a position where I started every game and hopefully have a World Cup to look forward to.

“I just want to give a good account, I hope to play well and give Pagey (Robert Page, manager) a problem when it comes to team picking.

“Everyone will be the same. Being on the plane is one thing, but playing there is another. I hope I can do both.

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Peter Kavinsky

Peter Kavinsky is the Executive Editor at cablefreetv.org

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