Nations League 2022: Wales injuries mount for Netherlands trip in Group A4

Gareth Bale
Gareth Bale could have his workload managed after starting Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Belgium
Nations League: Netherlands v Wales
Venue: Stadium Feijenoord, Rotterdam Date: Tuesday, 14 June Kick-off: 19:45 BST
Coverage: Live on BBC Radio Wales, Radio Cymru, BBC Sport website and app, plus live text online. Highlights on BBC One Wales from 22:40 BST and later on demand

Injuries and withdrawals are mounting for Wales as they end a hectic fortnight with Tuesday’s trip to face the Netherlands in the Nations League.

The game in Rotterdam will be Wales’ fifth fixture since 1 June.

In that time, they have lost to Poland and the Netherlands, drawn with Belgium and beaten Ukraine in their World Cup play-off final.

Wales will be without the injured Neco Williams, Danny Ward, Joe Morrell and Joe Allen in the Netherlands.

They were already without striker Kieffer Moore, who withdrew from the squad with a back issue, while wing-back Rhys Norrington-Davies is suspended.

While Wales are bottom of Group A4 with one point from three games, the Netherlands are top with seven.

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“I think the games are coming so thick and fast it is difficult to get your head around,” said Wales captain Gareth Bale.

“I think the camp as a whole, the only goal in this camp really was to qualify for the World Cup. We did that, which was obviously incredible and that was history made.

“In terms of the Nations League, it’s been a bit difficult to prepare for, especially the first two games. The first game was pretty much just about getting through it.

“For the second game, it was about mainly trying to recover, because there was obviously a lot of mental and physical stress [from the World Cup qualification] and the players who played probably deserved to draw both games.

“The Belgium game, I guess it was good to get a point against such a good team, we created some good chances.

“It has been a difficult camp. Five games after a tough season, speaking to the players, it probably hasn’t been ideal, but we have to do it and for ourselves. When we pull on a Wales shirt, we will always give 100%.”

Wales faced the Netherlands in Cardiff less than a week ago, just three days after the hosts had beaten Ukraine to qualify for their first World Cup since 1958.

Norrington-Davies equalised for Wales in added time, only for Wout Weghorst to head in the Dutch winner just 100 seconds later.

That was a much-changed Welsh side, owing to their World Cup play-off exertions three days earlier, but manager Robert Page was able to name what was essentially his strongest team available for the 1-1 draw with Belgium on Saturday.

Brennan Johnson came on to equalise for Wales with his first senior international goal and the Nottingham Forest forward will be vying for a recall to the starting line-up against the Netherlands.

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“Brennan has done really well, he has had kind of a breakout season, had a great season in the Championship,” said Bale.

“It was great for him to get his first goal the other night and we all congratulated him. Hopefully there are many more to come.

“The future is definitely in good hands. Like I’ve said before, we have a lot of good young players coming through.

“For us as older players it’s our responsibility to teach them and guide them, to do it the Welsh way, to keep that character and togetherness up and I think we have done that well.

“We have a lot of players now, even when there’s one or two injuries now, we have good players to come on and fill in and do the job.”

Match facts

  • Netherlands have won all nine of their matches against Wales in all competitions, including their 2-1 victory in the Nations League last week.
  • This is Wales’ first visit to the Netherlands since a 2-0 away defeat in a friendly in Amsterdam in June 2014, with Arjen Robben and Jeremain Lens on the scoresheet for the Dutch.
  • Wales have only scored one goal in their five away games against the Netherlands, with Dean Saunders scoring to make it 3-1 in a World Cup qualifier in November 1996. They went on to lose the game 7-1.
  • Only Greece (nine games) are currently enjoying a longer unbeaten run in the Nations League than the Netherlands (seven games).
  • Wales have only lost two of their last 13 internationals, although both defeats have come in this Nations League campaign against Poland and the Netherlands.
  • Wales are winless in their last three Nations League games, conceding as many goals in those three games as in their previous nine matches in the competition (five).
  • Only Romelu Lukaku and Danel Sinani (both 11) have been involved in more goals in the Nations League than the Netherlands’ Memphis Depay (10 – six goals, four assists). Should Depay score, he’d go level with Klaas-Jan Huntelaar with 42 goals for the national team, with only Robin van Persie scoring more for the Oranje (50).

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