Wales on Tuesday evening take on Panama in a friendly at Cardiff City Stadium. The Central American team, nicknamed “Los Canaleros”, translated “The Canal Men”, have qualified for The World Cup Finals next summer, after finishing third in their qualifying group behind Costa Rica and Mexico respectively. This will be the first time that Panama has ever played in the finals tournament, a historic moment for the country. And on Tuesday, this will be there first ever visit to Wales so no doubt will want to make a good account of themselves.
Wales go into this game off the back of defeats to Republic of Ireland and France respectively, but this is a great opportunity for Chris Coleman to give some fringe players and some of the outstanding young talent available to him, an opportunity to see the depth of his squad, to look to build for the future and the next qualifying tournament, the European Championships, plus give players an opportunity prior to the upcoming China Cup in March next year.
There are a few positions that Wales need to see if there are answers to the questions many football fans have, such as is there a serious challenger to the goalkeeper position? Danny Ward does look as the goalkeeper to challenge Wayne Hennessey, but Ward is not playing first team football this season, unlike last season, so that does give Coleman a decision to make if that remains the case. Also, is there a central defender that can replace James Chester or Ashley Williams if either picks up an injury and long-term for Williams who is now 33 years of age or do we bring Chris Gunter or Ben Davies into a central position?
Wales will want to give the fans a performance and a victory on Tuesday evening and in my view, the team that I would select could give both. Fans will love to see youth given a chance and even if Wales draw or suffer a narrow defeat I am sure many fans could accept this if they come away from the game, seeing some young talent given its head and still be excited about the future. I hope there is a good crowd to see these exciting youngsters.
My starting eleven would be in a 4-3-3 formation, which with the players I would select suits them best.
GK – Danny Ward
RB – Chris Gunter (capt)
LB – Neil Taylor
CB – James Chester
CB – Tom Lockyer
MID – Ethan Ampadu
MID – Joe Ledley
MID – David Edwards
ATT – David Brooks
ST – Tom Bradshaw
ATT – Ben Woodburn
Feel there is a good blend of experience and youth in this side, and during the game would like to see Chris Coleman bring on players such as Ryan Hedges and Marley Watkins as well. Need to see how they deal with international football pressure, and this friendly international is a great chance to do that.
Be interested to know your thoughts on the side selected and what your starting eleven would be. Please let us know.