Wales vs Panama Preview: Coleman to usher in new era of Welsh talent as contract extension talks continue

Previewing Wales vs Panama.

Wales vs Panama Preview: Coleman to usher in new era of
Welsh talent as contract extension talks continue
Chris Coleman at his pre-match press conference. (Photo: Athena Pictures/Getty)

Wales host Panama at the Cardiff City Stadium in what could be Chris Coleman’s last game in charge of his country.

The manager’s contract is up after this fixture, and the 47-year-old has previously claimed that he would move on after his current deal expires.

However, talks have taken place over a new contract and will resume after Wales’ game against the side ranked 46th in the World.

Team news

Coleman is expected to name a rotated side from the one that lost 2-0 to France on Friday, as Aaron Ramsey has already withdrawn from the squad.

Ben Woodburn, David Brooks, Tom Lawrence and Ethan Ampadu could all start, as the youngsters will hope to use this platform to launch the new-look Wales side.

While Chris Gunter will captain the side in his 85th cap for Wales, an impressive number for the 28-year-old who has epitomised the rise of Welsh football under Coleman.

Panama named their starting lineup yesterday, including Blas Perez, the 36-year-old striker that could become the country’s top scorer with a goal against Wales, taking his tally to 44 in 114 games.

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Form

After crashing out of the World Cup in a 1-0 defeat to the Republic of Ireland, Wales went back to France for the first time since their heroic Euro 2016 campaign, to lose 2-0 to their national side.

Antoinne Grizemann and Olivier Giroud scored the goals for the hosts, as fans saw a glimpse of their future as several youngsters came off the bench to impress.

Panama lost 2-1 away to Iran last time out, but have qualified for the World Cup by finishing third in the CONCACAF qualifying group.

Quotes

In his pre-match press conference, Coleman said: "If I am going to walk away and shake hands I know we took it to a level that was unthinkable in the time we did it,"

"The experiences we have had and where we have taken it that will never be spoiled.

"But I'd be more proud in two or four years' time if the team qualified again.” The Welshman revealed. "That's the acid test for what's been put in place.”

On his new deal, Coleman said he hoped that talks would resume very quickly.

"I think everybody would like it sorted, none of us gain anything by it dragging." Coleman said. “But that will be up to the powers that be, it won't be my decision.

"They know my stance and how I see things, how I want to work and who I want to work with.”

Coleman has reportedly asked for an improved financial deal, and full-time contracts for his coaching staff.

"But they may not see it that way,” Coleman concluded, “we may not be singing all from the same hymn sheet."

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Predicted XI

Wales: Hennessey; Gunter, Chester, Lockyer, Taylor; King, Ampadu, Allen; Brooks, Lawrence, Woodburn.

Panama (confirmed): Penedo; Murillo, Baloy, Escobar, Ovalle; M. Vargas, Heraldez, Avila, Cooper; Blas, Torres.

The game kicks off at 19:45 on Tuesday, 14 November at the Cardiff City Stadium.