Football

Wales require tougher test than Holland before Euro 2016

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Struggling Holland will not provide the competitive friendly fixture Chris Coleman's Wales require ahead of Euro 2016, as they head into their first major tournament since 1958.

Coleman has admitted Italy turned down the opportunity to play a friendly in Cardiff next month as they look to test themselves against some of the tournament favourites.

Instead, Holland will travel to the United Kingdom on the unlucky Friday 13th as Wales hope the misfortune will continue to heap on the visitors next month, who finished an abysmal fourth in Group A.

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“We look forward to welcoming the Dutch to Cardiff for what I’m sure will prove to be a valuable and entertaining match as we begin preparations for EURO 2016 in France,” Coleman told the Football Association of Wales' website.

But the 45-year-old Welshman would no doubt greet the opposition with a greater welcome had it been a team that had managed to reach next year's tournament in France.

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Netherlands won't test Wales

Having picked up just 13 points from ten matches, Holland finished the qualification campaign a massive five points short of play-off contenders Turkey and seven short of automatic qualification.

Danny Blind's men might have managed a convincing 6-0 victory over footballing minnows Latvia in qualification, but five defeats, including comfortable victories for Iceland and Turkey, suggest Wales will go into the game as favourites, despite the Dutch having finished third at the World Cup last year.

Wales, on the other hand, pulled off a creditable draw in Brussels and victory in Cardiff to finish qualification just two points short of the group favourites Belgium. A draw at home to Bosnia and Herzegovina and 3-0 victory away to Israel were also other notable results.

Welsh to avenge defeat

Having been one of the shocks of Euro 2016 qualification, Wales will be confident of inflicting defeat on the Flying Dutchmen, who they lost 2-0 to in Amsterdam last year.

Coleman's men will, though, need to face opposition who have qualified for next summer's tournament if they are to go to the Euros with the aim of exiting their group and reaching the knock-out stages.

Germany already have a friendly against neighbours England planned for March while Spain travel to Wembley in November. Wales will need to act quickly to secure a friendly with opposition who can really show them what they will be up against come the start of June.

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Topics:
Wales
Football
Chris Coleman

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