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Jones: Wales left heartbroken


Euro 2016 team preview: Wales are keen to impress on the big stage

Group B: England | Russia | Wales | Slovakia

After reaching a major tournament for the first time since the 1958 World Cup, Wales are celebrating just being here, but that does not mean their sights are set low. The group looks tight, but in Gareth Bale, they have a match winner to outdo their rivals.

How they qualified: Second in Group B

Wales held the Belgians to a goalless draw in Brussels and defeated them 1-0 at home, with Bale scoring the winner. Both results helped them pip third-placed Bosnia and Herzegovina to an automatic place in France.

How they'll proceed:

Although tournament experience is lacking, Wales have the talent to get through the group, and second place would give them a winnable-looking tie against the Group F runners-up. They could be surprise quarterfinalists, though the fairytale will surely end there.

TBD by Editor
Along with Gareth Bale, left, Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey will be look upon as an important player for Wales.

Predicted lineup:

(5-4-1); GK: Wayne Hennessey; DF: Jazz Richards, Chris Gunter, Ashley Williams, Ben Davies, Neil Taylor; MF: Joe Allen, Joe Ledley, Aaron Ramsey, Gareth Bale; FW: Hal Robson-Kanu.

Key player: Gareth Bale

Wales are built around their talisman, and even though Chris Coleman has moulded his side intelligently, they would pose half the threat without Bale. The Real Madrid forward scored seven times in qualifying and has the rare ability to lift those around him.

Manager: Chris Coleman

The former Fulham, Real Sociedad and Coventry City manager took over after the tragic death of his friend Gary Speed in 2012. Coleman has built on his predecessor's work admirably by moulding an adaptable side that plays effectively to its star players' strengths.


June 11 vs. Slovakia (Noon ET/4 p.m. GMT; Stade de Bordeaux, Bordeaux)

June 16 vs. England (9 a.m. ET/1 p.m. GMT; Stade Bollaert-Denis, Lens)

June 20 vs. Russia (3 p.m. ET/7 p.m. GMT; Stadium de Toulouse, Toulouse)
-- LIVE on ESPN2

Games are also LIVE on ESPN Deportes, ESPN FC, WatchESPN and the ESPN app.


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