24 hours before the duel with Switzerland, the champions of Wales relaxed. Coach Robert Page liked the atmosphere of the hotel, which is located in the center of Baku, unlike the Swiss. The Welsh people stay away from the hustle and bustle of the city center due to the strict bubble system, but the atmosphere inside the team is still excellent. “The boys enjoy their free time in the pool, with Playstation, table tennis or playing cards,” Page said.
The status of the personnel also contributes to the good mood, as Aaron Ramsey will also be on board in the tournament’s opening match against Switzerland. The Juventus midfielder and former Arsenal team-mate Granit Xhaka, who was recently repeatedly injured, was injured after the recent test against Albania (0-0) and did not attend Thursday’s training session. “Aaron is ready, all 26 players are fit,” Page said.
Bale: “Different team, different championship”
Like Bill, Ramsey is a veteran of the team, who has a good mix of young and old. The fact that Wales could compete again as an outsider suits the captain, but it makes him just as cool as expectations raised at home after the 2016 coup d’etat. “What matters is what we show on the pitch,” Bale said. “Now we have a different team, it’s a different championship.”
Only the situation is the same as it was five years ago: “We take match after match,” said Bell, who spoke of a tough starting point. It is a “very difficult group” in which there are no clear preferences. “We know the characteristics of Italy, one of the great nations in history. Switzerland is a top ten team and last year Turkey proved that they can always beat the big.” So, for Wales, it remains only the role of the outsider – or the spoiler.
Switzerland – Wales
Saturday, 3 pm – Olympic Stadium Baku. – SR Turpin (FRA).
Switzerland: 1 summer; 4 Elvedi, 22 Schär, 5 Akanji; 3 Widmer, 8 Freuler, 10 Xhaka, 13 Rodriguez; 23 Shaqiri; 7 Empolo, 9 Seferovic.
Wales: 12 Ward; 22 Mepham, 6 Rodon, 4 Ben Davies; 3 Nico Williams, 7 Allen, 10 Ramsey, 14 Conor Roberts, 8 Wilson; 20 James, 11 Bill.
Comments: Both panels are complete.