Wales tournament predictions: Bale brings hope for goals in Qatar
- Wales are making just their second appearance at a World Cup Finals
- The Dragons reached the quarter-finals in their only previous outing in 1958
- Recommended bets:
- Wales to go out in the Round of 16
- Wales to score Over 3.5 tournament goals
Wales approach their first World Cup finals appearance since 1958 with nothing to lose.
A squad that boasts plenty of tournament experience from their run to the semi-finals of the 2016 European Championships and another group stage qualification in last year's delayed follow-up will be quietly confident of pulling off another shock or two.
Round of 16 (2/1) looks the most likely exit
Wales are 7/10 with LiveScore Bet to fall by the wayside at the group stage, which more or less tallies with Opta's calculation that they have only around a 42% chance of qualifying.
The Dragons reached the last 16 at Euro 2020, coming through a tough section in second place behind eventual winners Italy.
Robert Page's side are well drilled and dangerous enough on set pieces to squeeze through in second place again and take their shot at a big fish in the round of 16.
As Group B runners-up, they would then face the likely Group A winners - the Netherlands - who have won each and every one of their 10 previous international clashes with the Dragons.
Attack-minded Dragons can breach over 3.5 goals mark (10/11)
Wales have become a more potent force under Page since the conclusion of the last European Championship campaign.
The Dragons scored just 10 goals in their first 12 games under the former Under-21 boss after he took caretaker charge in November 2020.
But that tally has steadily risen with Wales producing 22 goals in their last 16 senior internationals, which included six in as many matches during a very tough recent Nations League A section alongside the Dutch, Belgium and Poland.
Gareth Bale is not far off a ratio of one goal every two games at international level while Kieffer Moore, who has been on the scoresheet in the Premier League recently, has produced a goal each of the last three times he has donned the national team jersey.
And Wales get enough goals from midfield, with Aaron Ramsey having netted 20 times in 75 internationals, that there should be real prospects for a few goals in Qatar.
Bale the obvious choice for top team scorer at 7/4
He is Wales' denoted penalty taker and, although he skied a spot-kick against Turkey in last year's European Championship finals, has scored each of his last three at international level.
Bale will be on the majority of set-pieces within shooting range too and has scored directly from a free-kick in a past tournament with a stunning effort against Slovakia at the 2016 European Championships in France.
Qatar 2022 Squads: They Score, You Score!
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