Key topics of conversation ahead of the Nations League in Wales clash with Poland

Wales meet Poland in the Nations League relegation decider on Sunday.

The Dragons need to win to remain in the top division of European football and send Poland to the B division.

Here, the PA news agency tackles the main talking points surrounding the clash at the Cardiff City Stadium.

World Cup farewell

Wales fans will bid their team a World Cup farewell in Cardiff on Sunday (David Davies/PA)

(PA Archive)

Wales fans are hoping their side fly to the World Cup on a high by maintaining their place at the pinnacle of European football. Although Wales’ second appearance at a World Cup – and their first in 64 years – is less than two months away, manager Robert Page has stressed the importance of playing against the continent’s best sides in the Nations League. Page has exposed young players to high-profile opponents and believes his side will benefit at the World Cup in Qatar and beyond.

ball call

Wales captain Gareth Bale came on as a second-half substitute against Belgium on Thursday (Tim Goode/PA).

(PA wire)

Captain Gareth Bale came on as a 64th-minute substitute in Wales’ 2-1 defeat by Belgium on Thursday. Bale called it a “wise” decision after arriving late at the Wales camp from his US base in Los Angeles and still suffering the effects of jet lag. The 33-year-old is building his fitness ahead of the World Cup, with his MLS playing time carefully managed. But it seems likely that Wales’ talisman will start in Cardiff with so much at stake.

squad stretched

Ethan Ampadu misses game against Poland due to suspension (Tim Goode/PA)

(PA wire)

Wales were thin on numbers ahead of the Belgium defeat with Aaron Ramsey, Ben Davies, Harry Wilson and Joe Allen absent through injury. Chris Mepham and Ethan Ampadu are also unavailable against Poland after receiving their second yellow card of the competition. Chris Gunter or Ben Cabango look set to be drawn into the defensive line on Sunday, with Joe Morrell a likely starter in midfield.

Polish threat

Robert Lewandowski has scored 76 goals in 133 games for Poland (Rafal Oleksiewicz/PA)

(PA Archive)

Poland were unable to repeat their opening Nations League win against Wales and were beaten 6-1 in Belgium. But in Rotterdam they drew 2-2 with group leaders Netherlands, and in Barcelona striker Robert Lewandowski has an undisputed world star. Lewandowski has scored over 600 times for club and country and with 76 goals in 133 games in Poland he is third in Europe for men’s goalscoring behind Ferenc Puskas and Cristiano Ronaldo.

losing streak

Wales players are dejected after conceding a goal in their 2-1 Nations League loss to Poland in June (Rafal Oleksiewicz/PA)

(PA wire)

Wales suffered a fifth consecutive defeat against Poland in June as the hosts secured a 2-1 Nations League win in Wroclaw through late goals from substitutes Jakub Kaminski and Karol Swiderski. Jonny Williams had previously given Wales the lead. Wales’ only win in nine games against Poland came in their first meeting in March 1973. Leighton James and Trevor Hockey scored as Wales won a World Cup qualifier 2-0. Poland won the Katowice second leg 3-0 and there were two goalless draws before Wales ended their recent losing streak. Key topics of conversation ahead of the Nations League in Wales clash with Poland

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