Talking points as Wales look to pip Croatia to Euro 2024 spot in final round
Wales welcome Turkey to Cardiff for their final Euro 2024 qualifier on Tuesday.Rob Page’s side must win and hope Croatia do not beat Armenia in order to secure automatic European Championship qualification and avoid the play-offs in March.
Here, the PA news agency studies some of the main talking points surrounding the game.
Wales’ disappointing 1-1 draw in Armenia on Saturday took automatic qualification out of their hands heading in to the final round of matches.
Croatia seized advantage by winning 2-0 in Latvia to move in to the box-seat and claim the second spot behind Turkey.
The mathematics for Wales are simple: nothing other than beating Turkey will do, while praying Croatia do not finish with victory.
Armenia have been Wales’ bogeymen in this group by taking four points from them, but they now need a huge favour from the team ranked 95 in the world.
Amid the gloom of a flat performance against Armenia in Yerevan and Croatia’s subsequent success a few hours later, it was overlooked that Wales actually secured a play-off spot on Saturday due to other results across Europe.
Wales would have suffered the agony of missing out on the play-offs had three from Italy, Netherlands, Switzerland and the Czech Republic missed out on automatic qualification.
While Italy and the Czechs await their fate on Monday, Netherlands’ 1-0 win over the Republic of Ireland and Switzerland’s 1-1 draw with Kosovo secured their places at Euro 2024 and gave Wales a play-off safety net.
Wales now hope Italy and the Czech Republic confirm their places in Germany next summer and provide them with a home play-off semi-final in March.
Two months, two games, two very contrasting displays.
October saw Wales produce one of their best performances of recent