Group G whipping boys Wales will be seeking a first win in five attempts against Switzerland when they welcome Ottmar Hitzfeld’s side to Swansea this Friday evening.
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The Swiss are still in the hunt to qualify for the finals in Poland and Ukraine though and they know that a win against the Principality and victory over Montenegro in their final match will secure second place and a shot at Euro 2012 via the play-offs.
In team news, Gary Speed’s side will have to make do without three of their more important players – Joe Ledley, James Collins and Danny Collins – through injury for Wales’ final qualifiers this Friday and away in Bulgaria next Tuesday.
As a result, Jonathan Williams and Lewin Nyatanga have been added to the squad but other senior stars Danny Gabbidon and Rob Earnshaw had already been left out because of injury. Being manager of Wales can be frustrating at times and this week has been difficult for Speed.
Earnshaw picked up a thigh injury that limited him to just 19 minutes of Cardiff’s 0-0 draw with Leicester on 25 September and Queens Park Rangers centre-back Gabbidon has a knee complaint after the Rs’ recent 3-0 win at Wolves.
There is one piece of good news, however, with Speed having Liverpool striker Craig Bellamy and David Vaughan available again after both missed Wales’ 1-0 defeat to England at Wembley through suspension.
The action kicks off at 19:45 on Friday night and with Speed planning for the 2014 World Cup campaign already, he will be keen to see some progress against a team still with hopes of qualification.
Two good results in their last two qualifiers will, at the very least, set Wales up nicely. And with the country engulfed in Rugby World Cup fever, Speed and Co will be keen to show that the football boys can also give the fans something to shout about.