Wales begin their FIFA World Cup 2014 Qualifying campaign against Belgium at Cardiff City Stadium on Friday, 7th September with a 7.45pm kick off.
Wales boss Chris Coleman comes into the match without the injured Andrew Crofts, Joel Lynch, Craig Bellamy and Neil Taylor in his squad. Their replacements are Ben Davies, Rob Earnshaw, Ashley “Jazz” Richards.
Belgium are one of Europe’s emerging talents with players such as Eden Hazard and Marouane Fellaini and it has been a decade since they last qualified for the World Cup or the Euro Championships but expectations are high this time around in their home country.
Wales have been hurting for longer of course, and Captain Aaron Ramsey has called on his teammates to do it for Gary Speed. “We still want to do it for him (Speed) and what he started here, and for ourselves and every Welsh fan and Welsh person,” said Ramsey. “Hopefully, we can do something special.”
Meanwhile midfielder Joe Allen has explained how he is wary of Belgium’s threat: “Fellaini and Dembele are the two best midfielders I came up against in the Premier League,” said Allen.
“If I am playing, I will have my work cut out against the likes of them, but they have strength throughout.
“With (Vincent) Kompany and (Thomas) Vermaelen at the back, they have a good spine”
Chris Coleman visited the Ton Pentre AFC Clubhouse in February for a question and answer session, where he impressed many of the Rhondda’s football fans with his desire to continue his friend, Gary Speed’s work and take Wales to the World Cup Finals. The time has come to believe.
Wales squad for 2014 World Cup qualifiers v Belgium (Cardiff City Stadium, 7 September; 7.45pm) & Serbia (Karadjordje Stadium, Novi Sad, 11 September; 7.30 BST):
Goalkeepers: Jason Brown (Aberdeen), Boaz Myhill (West Bromwich Albion), Lewis Price (Crystal Palace).
Defenders: Darcy Blake (Crystal Palace), James Collins (West Ham United), Chris Gunter (Reading), Jazz Richards (Swansea City), Adam Matthews (Celtic), Sam Ricketts (Bolton Wanderers), Ashley Williams (Swansea City), Ben Davies (Swansea).
Midfielders: Joe Allen (Liverpool), David Edwards (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Andy King (Leicester City), Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal, capt), Jonathan Williams (Crystal Palace).
Forwards: Gareth Bale (Tottenham Hotspur), Simon Church (Reading), Steve Morison (Norwich City), Hal Robson-Kanu (Reading), Sam Vokes (Burnley), Robert Earnshaw (Cardiff City).