Speaking ahead of Cyprus’ trip to Wales, Charalampos Christodoulou, manager of the Mediterranean nation, has opted to reveal his game plan to the media.
A daring, if not unorthodox pre-match ploy, the visiting boss has spelled out his strategy in no uncertain terms: “Our plan – to think about the Wales team, not only (Gareth) Bale.”
True, to watch the Real Madrid superstar will be the sole reason 90 per cent of people tune into the Group B clash, but those who do will be pleasantly surprised by the quality within the Dragons’ ranks.
Chris Coleman’s men are 9/20 to prevail at the Cardiff City Stadium and these components are sure to play a big part in ensuring they do the business.
The new-found centre-back trinity
Tottenham’s Ben Davies and James Chester of Hull aid skipper Ashley Williams in marshalling the Wales rearguard.
Besides their wealth of Premier League experience, the trio offer sound physical attributes and have taken to combining forces effortlessly in their opening two Euro 2016 qualifiers.
The only goal they’ve given up thus far came from the penalty spot against Andorra, which was one of just two attempts they allowed the microstate in their Group B opener.
They then raised their game to stymie the ferocious frontline of Bosnia last time out.
Boasting the likes of Edin Dzeko and Miralem Pjanic, the Herzegovina-twinned outfit struck 30 times in qualifying for the World Cup, yet were unable to breach the Welsh backline.
An energetic midfield
Jonny Williams and Andy King may not be the most creative – the former is only included in light of Aaron Ramsey’s injury – but they have the running power and willingness to burst into the box that’ll cause Cyprus plenty of problems.
Joe Ledley’s starting berth is also largely down to the absence of a compadre – Liverpool’s Joe Allen is also confined to the sick bay – but he’s another battery-charged middle man, with the work ethic and discipline to shield the back three with aplomb.