It’s the first European away test in five and a half years, but it’s likely to be a little less significant. It’s unlikely that Wales will be fielding a full squad, and it’s unlikely that their home crowd will be in attendance. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that this could be a half-hearted trial, and if it is, the fallout could be devastating.
The South Korean national soccer team, led by Jürgen Klinsmann (GER), will play an A match at Cardiff City Stadium in Cardiff, Wales, at 3:45 a.m. (KST) on Aug. 8. It will be the first time since Klinsmann’s arrival that the national team has faced a European team away from home, and the first time in five years and six months since Northern Ireland-Poland in 2018.
After four games without a win (two draws and two defeats), Klinsmann’s team needs to break the winless streak somehow. With the second test coming against Saudi Arabia in neutral territory in Newcastle, England, it’s likely that the team will focus all of its attention on the Welshman. Klinsmann’s plan is to use his best players, including Son Heung-min (Tottenham) and Kim Min-jae (Bayern Munich), to get a result.
However, it’s unclear if their opponent, Wales, will be at full strength. For the Welsh, it’s not so much the test against South Korea as the UEFA European Football Championship (Euro 2024) qualifier against Latvia four days later. The Welsh have one win, one draw and two losses in four qualifying matches (four points) and are in fourth place out of five teams. They need to beat Latvia to keep their hopes of qualifying alive. It was inevitable that the focus of Wales’ back-to-back A-match fixtures would be on the Latvia game, rather than the friendly against South Korea.
“We don’t want to play a friendly (against Korea) to be honest,” said head coach Rob Page at the official press conference. “I don’t want to play a friendly against South Korea, to be honest with you,” he said in an official press conference. If there are any injuries or problems with the form of key players, the repercussions will be felt in Latvia. From the coach’s point of view, he wants to focus all his energy on the Latvian game, and the Korea test is in the middle.
Naturally, there will be a lot of changes in the squad for the test against South Korea. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that he’ll rest or limit the playing time of some of the key players who could start full-time against Latvia, and test a number of younger or less experienced players. For the two matches against South Korea and Latvia, Page has called up some players with no A-League experience, including Liam Cullen (Swansea City), Morgan Foxer (Queens Park Rangers) and Tom King (Wolverhampton). There are eight players with less than five caps, and Wales have every reason to give them a chance.
“The more important game for me is the next one (against Latvia). “I’ve got to manage the players,” he said, “and I’ve already got an idea of how long they’re going to play. “I already have an idea of how many minutes they’re going to play,” he explains, “maybe at halftime, maybe in the last 15 minutes. This means that he will make changes to the squad by resting his main players or utilizing a lot of substitutions. Wales (35th), which has a lower FIFA ranking than South Korea (28th), could be even worse off. It’s a far cry from Klinsmann’s team, which will be fielding its best players. 카지노
To make matters worse, it’s unlikely that many Welsh fans will be in attendance. Facing a one-sided home support is one of the best parts of an away trial, and even that may be hard to come by. According to The Sun, the Welsh Football Association sold just 7,000 tickets for the South Korea game last week. The media outlet attributed this to a lack of confidence in Page following the Welsh national team’s poor showing. At this rate, it will be the lowest attendance in four years since the 7,666 fans at the September 2019 match against Belarus. Cardiff City Stadium has a capacity of 32,280, which means that the team could be facing an A-match away trial in a rather cramped stadium.
The KFA’s administrative power over A-match opponents has always been on the chopping block, and if the opponent is depleted and the stadium is poor, it is inevitable that there will be controversy over the meaning of the Wales away trial. The situation is even more incomparable to the fact that the Japan Football Association quickly scheduled Germany (away) and Turkiye (neutral) as good test opponents.
Even a win would mean less and less, and worse still, a ‘despite’ win would deny Klinsmann his first win. If the Welsh don’t get a result or a game, even if it’s not due to a lack of effort or one-sided support from the opposition fans, Klinsmann will be in even more trouble. There are already speculations about his dismissal from the foreign media, which, combined with the controversies that have surrounded Klinsmann in the past, will surely cause a huge backlash.