In the Wales Euro 2016 preview, we look ahead to the squad and schedule of games, as well as the TV schedule, and a prediction of how far Wales will advance in the European Championships.

Wales Euro 2016 preview

Manager: Chris Coleman

Captain: Ashley Williams

Wales Euro 2016 preview: Fixtures:

Saturday, June 11

Wales vs. Slovakia, Noon, ESPN, ESPN Deportes, Sling TV, Sling Latino and WatchESPN (tickets)

Thursday, June 16

England vs. Wales, 9am, ESPN, ESPN Deportes, Sling TV, Sling Latino and WatchESPN (tickets)

Monday, June 20

Russia vs. Wales, 3pm, ESPN2, Sling TV, Sling Latino and WatchESPN (tickets)

SEE MORE: Schedule of Euro 2016 games on US TV and streaming

Wales Euro 2016 preview: Squad:

Goalkeepers : Wayne Hennessey (Crystal Palace), Danny Ward (Liverpool), Owain Fon Williams (Inverness).

Defenders: Ben Davies (Tottenham), Neil Taylor (Swansea), Chris Gunter (Reading), Ashley Williams (Swansea), James Chester (West Brom), Ashley Richards (Fulham), James Collins (West Ham).

Midfielders: Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal), Joe Ledley (Crystal Palace), David Vaughan (Nottingham Forest), Joe Allen (Liverpool), David Cotterill (Birmingham), Jonathan Williams (Crystal Palace), George Williams (Fulham), Andy King (Leicester), Dave Edwards (Wolves).

Forwards: Gareth Bale (Real Madrid), Hal Robson-Kanu (Reading), Sam Vokes (Burnley), Simon Church (Nottingham Forest).

*Will join squad after Champions League final.

Wales Euro 2016 preview

Wales Euro 2016 preview: Overview:

Not since 1958 have we seen Wales take part in a major tournament, although there aren’t many who are branding this side with the minnows tag that kind of prolonged absence might usually warrant.

That’s because Coleman’s men have been on the up for a while now. They qualified for the finals with ease in the end from a group containing Belgium, Israel and a dangerous Bosnia-Herzegovina team. And while the progression was greeted with widespread celebration, for those following Wales’ progression it was no great surprise.

They’ve become a very strong outfit under the manager’s guidance. Of course, they’re geared up to get the best out of inspirational forward Gareth Bale, but there’s quality all over the pitch. Ashley Williams is dominant at the back, Joe Allen and Aaron Ramsey offer a brilliant blend in midfield and up top, Hal Robson-Kanu does an understatedly sound job making space for others.

Defensively they are very strong, with just four goals conceded in 10 qualification matches and one defeat, away in Bosnia. In addition, they are a tactically flexible outfit, using 5-3-2, 4-3-3 and 4-2-3-1 systems at various points in qualifying. That allows the players to nullify opponents’ weaknesses effectively, something that’ll be vital at the finals.

There’s a fearlessness about Wales too. While none of these players will have featured in a major tournament before, they were relentless in pursuit of qualification and with Bale in their ranks, there’s a sense there’s always a chance of them coming through matches. The conviction the forward operates with seems to coarse through the rest of the XI.

They’re a team who won’t go down without an almighty fight in France and getting something from that clash against Slovakia in the first match would be a huge boost to their chances. However, for any Welshman, it’s tough to look past that showdown with England in Lens on June 16.

Wales Euro 2016 preview: Key Player:

Gareth Bale – Bale produced so many memorable moments during qualifying, adding a devastating attacking edge to the compact, structured setup.

For Wales he’s afforded more freedom than he’s given at club level, typically roaming in the space behind Kanu in the final third. That allows him to pick the ball up, drive at defenders and make late runs into the penalty area, something that’s allowed him to exploit his superb aerial ability, an area of his game vastly improved this term.

There’s no shame in Wales looking to get a player as good as him on the ball as often as possible in their three group games. After a difficult 2014-15, Bale has cemented his world-class credentials with Real Madrid this season and is right to be considered among the best players at the tournament. He’s also a footballer capable of handling the massive expectations that’ll be on his shoulders.

Wales Euro 2016 preview: Verdict:

Second Round – A lack of attacking balance means Wales have struggled to net frequently and against opposition of the calibre of England and Russia, that’ll be costly. However, they’re tenacious, diligent and hungry enough to get beyond the group stages; they just don’t possess enough quality to get past the elite nation they’ll most likely meet in the last 16.

Euro 2016 team previews

• Albania team preview
• Austria team preview
• Belgium team preview
• Croatia team preview
• Czech Republic team preview
• England team preview
• France team preview
• Germany team preview
• Hungary team preview
• Iceland team preview
• Italy team preview
• Northern Ireland team preview
• Poland team preview
• Portugal team preview
• Republic of Ireland team preview
• Romania team preview
• Russia team preview
• Slovakia team preview
• Spain team preview
• Sweden team preview
• Switzerland team preview
• Turkey team preview
• Ukraine team preview
• Wales team preview

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