THERE'S a virus sweeping through Welsh club football at the moment, with Warren Feeney, Francesco Guidolin and Paul Trollope being sacked by Newport County, Swansea City and Cardiff City respectively while Wrexham are really struggling in the National League.
Thank goodness for Chris Coleman and the national team!
It’s never a great time to play international football when you’re missing one of your top players, but the boys will have massive confidence and momentum after beating the whipping boys, Moldova, four-nil last month, without Aaron Ramsey.
Most of the players who played in France against Portugal played against Moldova, and it’ll be the same old story once again at Austria.
Chris Coleman will try his tested system, with three at the back, wing-backs and the two Joes in midfield – buy one, get one free.
Bale and King will be in front of them to make it a square, and Sam Vokes will lead the line up front.
It’s the most important game because it’s the next game, but this is more of a test because Austria, along with the Republic of Ireland, are the teams we need to take points from.
It’s a challenge, but when you look at the Austria camp, there’s massive turmoil there so it could be the perfect time to play them
Their old captain Christian Fuchs, from Leicester City, has retired from international football, saying he doesn’t want to play for the team any more.
When you have an unhappy dressing room, you have an unhappy team, and they won’t be fighting for each other like the Welsh boys.
They will be well-drilled for Austria’s weaknesses, and will have 4,000 fans behind them in Austria, which is brilliant for the national team. I’m going for a 2-0 win and another three points in the bag.
And then you’ve got Georgia at home. The players will be looking forward to putting on a show at the Cardiff City Stadium and the place will be bouncing. What a help that will be to our players.
No disrespect to Georgia, but their supporters will all be able to fit in one car - and there will still be room in the back seat – which is even better for us.
We should be proud of the fact that we’re top seeds for the group and that we’re favourites to qualify; not cocky, not arrogant, just favourites.
I’m going for a 2-0 win for Wales over Georgia.
That would give us nine points out of nine and everybody will be rubbing their hands for the Serbia game in November.
The Scottish Irn Bru Cup is a fantastic opportunity for The New Saints and Bala Town to compete against teams north of the border. It gives us in Wales a chance to evaluate, observe and measure where we are here in Wales.
I can see TNS, champions of Wales and with 10 wins out of 10 so far this season, coming out of the game against Forfar Athletic triumphant and with a few gears to spare.
As for Bala, they’ve made a slow start this season. They’ve had a lot of injuries, but I have no doubt that once Colin Caton gets those players back, they will be a force.
Lee Hunt was back for Bala the other day and he is such a pain to play against. I’m sure he will be looking forward to playing against Alloa Athletic.
Bala are a good team and I’m sure they have the ability to win. I think they will sneak it 3-2, and TNS will come from Forfar with a 4-1 win.
Gary Mills got a reprieve when Wrexham beat Boreham Wood last weekend to get their first away clean sheet of the season.
But looking from the outside in, having kept only Mark Carrington and Rob Evans from last season, there’s a brand new team this season.
Yes, they might take 10, 12 games to gel, but from what I’ve seen, Wrexham will only be a run of the mill, halfway-house, kind of team this season, and that’s not acceptable for the supporters.
I hope Mills has turned the corner and I hope they build on the success at Boreham Wood, or I fear that the virus of Welsh managers could strike again.
Former Wales and Newcastle United striker Malcolm Allen is part of S4C’s Sgorio presentation team. Sgorio will have live coverage of the Irn Bru Cup Fourth Round Tie between Bala Town and Alloa Athletic at 12.30pm on Saturday (English commentary available via red button), as well as highlights of Wales’ World Cup qualifiers against Austria on Thursday and Georgia on Sunday, which both start at 10.30pm.
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