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Rob Page Braced For Swiss Roll Of The Dice As Play-Offs Beckon For Wales


By David Williams

Rob Page will fly to Switzerland on Wednesday, hoping the luck that avoided Wales against Turkey will be there when the Euro 2024 play-off draw is made.

The Wales manager was left angry and frustrated that key decisions did not go in Wales’ favour during their 1-1 draw at home to the Turks on Tuesday night.

In the end, the result did not matter since Croatia earned their necessary victory – 1-0 – over Armenia at the same time to ensure they qualified from the group along with Turkey.

It would have been different had Wales not drawn in Armenia last Saturday. Had they won in Yerevan, victory against Turkey would have secured automatic qualification.

But now – thanks to a place-off place earned their Nations League record – Wales will host Ukraine, Finland or Iceland in a one-legged play-off semi-final on 21 March.

If they win through that, they will face Poland or Estonia – with home advantage to be decided via a draw this Thursday – in another one-off tie five days later, with the winner securing their place at next summer’s tournament in Germany.

“Now we will focus on that. I am off tomorrow [Wednesday] to Switzerland for the draw on Thursday,” said Page.

The identity of Wales’ opponents will be determined by a draw on Thursday – and boss Page hopes play-off history will repeat itself as Austria and Ukraine were beaten in Cardiff en route to reaching the 2022 World Cup.

“We will throw everything into the preparation for the play-offs now,” said Page, who will attend the draw at Nyon in Switzerland.

“I’m pleased it’s a home draw. What our supporters do is incredible and this place is a fortress. We never disappoint and the crowd never disappoints – Croatia, Turkey, the Austria and Ukraine games.

“The lads who were in the play-offs have had those experiences.

“This place [Cardiff City Stadium] is a fortress. Croatia, now Turkey, you go back to Austria, Ukraine [last year] – we have had some big nights here. The crowd are massive in helping us achieve the wins.”

Three teams out of 12 hopefuls will advance.

The play-off draw is next Thursday. Here is how the three final routes to Germany look:

Path A: Poland vs. Estonia; Wales vs. either Finland or Ukraine or Iceland.
Path B: Israel vs Ukraine or Iceland; Bosnia and Herzegovina vs. Finland or Ukraine.
Path C: Kazakhstan faces Greece with the winner taking on either Georgia or Luxembourg.


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