Moldova v Wales

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Gareth Bale claimed two of Wales’ four goals in their previous meeting with Moldova
2018 World Cup qualifiers: Moldova v Wales
Venue: Stadionul Zimbru, Chisinau Date: Tuesday, 5 September Kick-off: 19:45 BST
Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru & BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app, plus live text commentary.

Midfielder Joe Allen and defender Neil Taylor have returned to the Wales squad for their trip to Moldova in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers on Tuesday.

The pair missed Wales’ 1-0 win over Austria on Saturday that kept alive their hopes of going to Russia.

Jonny Williams and James Collins drop out to accommodate their return.

Moldova are set to be without injured pair Petru Racu and Alexandru Gatcan, but experienced defender Vitalie Bordian is available after suspension.

Wales are four points behind Group D leaders Serbia, who beat winless Moldova 3-0 at the weekend.

Only the nine group winners in Europe’s qualifying procedure automatically earn a place in next year’s tournament in Russia, while the eight best runners-up enter the play-offs.

Chris Coleman’s side are two points behind the Republic of Ireland, in second place, who face Serbia in Dublin on Tuesday night.

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Wales beat Moldova 4-0 at home at the beginning of the campaign and will be expecting to pick up three more points in Chisinau.

“We are a couple points back on the Republic and they have got to come to us. That is the last fixture here,” Coleman said.

“But the biggest we’ve had in a long time is away to Moldova. We have to take care of our own business. Three games to go, anything can happen.”

The expert’s view

“Joe Allen will definitely start against Moldova, he was sorely missed on Saturday night against Austria,” said former Wales striker Iwan Roberts.

“He just gives you something extra in midfield. David Alaba would never have got the room, space and time that he had in the first half against Austria if Joe was playing.

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“I’m not sure about Neil Taylor. Wales manager Chris Coleman is a big fan of his – he’s served his two-match suspension and it gives us another option on that left-hand side.

“But it all depends how Chris goes, whether he wants to go with four at the back or whether he’ll carry on with the five.

“James Collins has got loads of experience, is still playing at the top level with West Ham, so I am surprised he’s been left out.

“What happens if either James Chester or Ashley Williams pick up an injury?

“But maybe this might spell the end for James Collins, certainly he’ll be disappointed to be released from the squad because Ethan Ampadu and Tom Lockyer are very inexperienced.

“Lockyer is playing at Bristol Rovers – not the highest of levels – and Ampadu even though he’s moved to Chelsea, he’s only playing under-23 football, so it’s a big call.”

The opposition’s view

“I have a small goal now (in this World Cup campaign) and it is to win,” said Moldova manager Igor Dobrovolski.

“We need to forget the mistakes we have made and look forward. This is a difficult game but… you focus on the next win.

“I hope the crowd will be the 12th player on the pitch because we need their support.

“When I was a player and we lost 3-0 people would want to kill me!

“But these players need support – no matter how they played. I hope a full stadium will be more motivation for them.”

Wales squad: Wayne Hennessey, Danny Ward, Adam Davies, Ben Davies, James Chester, Neil Taylor, Chris Gunter, Jazz Richards, Tom Lockyer, Ashley Williams, Ethan Ampadu, Joe Allen, David Edwards, Andy King, Lee Evans, Joe Ledley, Aaron Ramsey, Gareth Bale, Marley Watkins, Hal Robson-Kanu, Sam Vokes, Tom Lawrence, Ben Woodburn.

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