Storylines

Wales: Rob Page’s men beat Austria 2-1 thanks to a Gareth Bale brace back in March and they warmed up for this one with a narrow 2-1 UEFA Nations League defeat to Poland after a much-changed lineup fell away in the final 20 minutes. The likes of Bale, Aaron Ramsey and Joe Allen were kept fresh against the Poles with this game in mind.

Ukraine: An emotional night in Glasgow ended with Oleksandr Petrakov’s men beating Scotland 3-1 thanks to goals from Andriy Yarmolenko, Roman Yaremchuk and Artem Dovbyk. The Ukrainians were motivated, well organized and surprised the Tartan Army with their impressive fitness levels. It will not be easy for the UEFA Euro 2020 quarterfinalists, but they possess the quality to overcome the Welsh and stamp their ticket for Qatar.

Prediction

This will be tight, I feel, but Ukraine is in much better shape than anybody expected them to be. Based on their performance in Scotland, they are arguably the favorites ahead of hosts Wales. A close win for the Ukrainians sounds about right, but do not rule out a Bale masterclass to take his team to the World Cup. Pick: Wales 1, Ukraine 2