WALES return to the Cardiff City Stadium this weekend for a crucial World Cup qualifying match against Serbia.
Serbia currently sit top of Group D ahead of Ireland on goal difference, while Euro 2016 semi-finalists Wales find themselves back in third place, two points behind.
After a disappointing draw at home to Georgia in their last fixture, the Welsh squad will be looking to bounce back against a reinvigorated Serbia side who beat Austria in their last match.
Both sides will been keen to start the match strongly as neither can afford to drop points in the race for World Cup qualification. Victory for Serbia would leave Wales five points adrift, but a win for Chris Coleman’s side would see them leapfrog their opponents. If Wales win and Ireland fail to pick up three points away to Austria, Wales will go back to the top of Group D with six games left to play.
Wales’ talisman Gareth Bale will be fit to play and Serbia will have to stop him if they want to leave with any points. Bale has five goals for Real Madrid since the start of October and three goals in Wales’ three qualifying games so far.
The return of Aaron Ramsey, Joe Allen and Jonathan Williams to the Welsh squad will bring creativity to a midfield which desperately needed it against Georgia in the last game.
Wales’ only squad concerns will be in defence. Tottenham defender Ben Davies and West Ham United’s James Collins have both withdrawn from the squad. Davies, who has started in every qualifying game so far, suffered an ankle injury in Tottenham’s Champions League fixture against Bayer Leverkusen last week.
Serbia are not without a talisman themselves. Southampton’s Dusan Tadic has been involved of all of Serbia’s last 10 goals. The midfielder has scored four and assisted six since May this year.