Euro 2020: Wales' best starting XI
LAGOS, PORTUGAL - MAY 27: Gareth Bale of Wales during a Training Session on May 27, 2021 in Lagos, Portugal. (Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images)

Wales come into Euro 2020 off the back of a semi-final finish in the competition five years ago. 

After a great run in Euro 2016, the British nation failed to qualify for the following world cup and this tournament will give them a way to bounce back and continue their progress as a footballing nation.

They also have the controversy surrounding their manager to face as added pressure and therefore they will need to put their best foot forward in this tournament.

But who will do that? With the squad being announced yesterday, it's time to look at what could be their best XI heading into the competition. 

 

Backline

Goalkeeper - Danny Ward

Leicester City's number two could be the best fit for Wales as Wayne Hennessey is slowly moved out the side. Ward has 12 international caps including five of their last six matches in all competitions and has an average points-per-game ratio of over 2.00. 

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Centre-back - Joe Rodon

Wales are gifted with young centre-backs and picking three for their three at the back formation wasn't easy, but the Tottenham Hotspur defender Rodon makes the cut. He's played eight games in the 20202/21 international season and made 12 appearances this season in the Premier League.

Centre-back - Chris Mepham 

23-year-old Chris Mepham made 24 Championship appearances this season, scoring once. Defensively he makes 1.8 tackles and wins 3.3 aerial duels a game. At six foot three, he is the same size and Rodon and helps Wales build a physically dominant backline. 

Centre-back - James Lawrence 

This is where the experience comes from for Robert Page's backline. At 28 and currently playing in Germany, Lawrence brings the experience of both age and European football.  Despite this, he has made the least amount of appearances for the national side, nine since 2018. His trophy cabinet holds Slovakian titles and cups, whilst his football education spans across Slovakia, Belgium and Germany.

Midfielders

Right midfielder - Harry Wilson

In a midfield five,  Harry Wilson provides the attacking width from the right. His acquisition in the team also provides Wales with a dead ball specialist. He has scored seven and assisted 12 in 37 Championship appearances this season and has proven it internationally with five goals in 23 appearances. 

Central midfielder - Aaron Ramsey 

One of the bigger names in the squad, Aaron Ramsey has spent time out in Itay with Juventus. He assisted five and scored two in 22 Serie A games this season. At the age of 30, he brings a wealth of experience at the top level and his 61 international caps to bring to the table. 

Central defensive midfielder - Ethan Ampadu

Naturally a centre-back, Ethan Ampadu can also play in the central of midfield covering the defensive duties. It will be important for Page to use Amapdu as the rest of his midfield is stacked with more attacking players. He has played 25 games in the Premier League for Sheffield United and has only three fewer international caps. 

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Central midfielder - Matt Smith

Probably the least well known on this list, Matt Smith turned out 44 times for Doncaster Rovers this season. Originally on loan from Manchester City's U23s, he has 13 international caps and at the age of 21 is one for the future when it comes to Wales' midfield. 

Left midfielder - Daniel James

To finish off the five-man midfield, in comes Manchester United's Welsh wizard. He has made 15 Premier League appearances with three goals and one assist and has 19 international caps, scoring four goals. It's been tough for James to break into the United first team but for Wales, he has been a consistent figure, with his pace terrorising defences. 

Attackers 

Striker -  Kieffer Moore 

The front two has wealth of experience and next to the obvious Gareth Bale, is Kieffer Moore. He has only played 15 times for Wales, scoring five goals. However, he has scored 87 goals in 276 career appearances with this season being his best, scoring 20 in 42 for Cardiff City in the Championship and that's why he gets the nod over young Tyler Roberts.

Striker - Gareth Bale

The star of the show, this spot doesn't really need justifying. He scored 11 in 20 this season at Spurs. He has 90 Welsh caps, scoring 33 goals and will be the key man going forward for Wales. Bale will want to impress even more after his on-off season with Tottenham. 

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