Wales v Switzerland preview
Wales will be looking to build further momentum on Friday when they face a Switzerland side still in contention for Euro 2012 qualification.
Last Updated: 07/10/11 10:41am
Wales will be looking to build further momentum on Friday night when they face a Switzerland side still in contention for Euro 2012 qualification.
Gary Speed's men have not been in the running for a top-two finish in Group G for quite a while, having made a disastrous start to their campaign, but there have been clear signs of progress in recent times.
Having picked up their first victory at home to Montenegro last month, Wales then impressed against England a few days later despite going down 1-0 at Wembley.
They will now be aiming to finish with a flourish in their final two games, starting with the visit of Switzerland to Swansea's Liberty Stadium.
Victory over the Swiss and another win in Bulgaria next Tuesday could even be enough to propel Wales into third position.
Jack Collison and Andy King have joined fellow midfielder Joe Ledley on Speed's injury list ahead of the clash with Switzerland.
Collison and King are suffering knee and back problems respectively and both midfielders are doubts for Tuesday's final qualifier with Bulgaria in Sofia.
Ledley (thigh) and centre-backs James Collins (knee) and Danny Collins (groin) will miss Wales' double-header.
Queens Park Rangers centre-back Danny Gabbidon (knee) and Cardiff City striker Rob Earnshaw (thigh) had already been ruled out.
Swansea midfielder Joe Allen could be rewarded for his impressive displays in the Premier League with a first start on his home ground, while defender Lewin Nyatanga and midfielder Jonathan Williams are also available for selection after earning late call-ups.
As ever, the main threat will come from newly-crowned Wales Footballer of the Year Gareth Bale, captain Aaron Ramsey and veteran striker Craig Bellamy.
Switzerland manager Ottmar Hitzfeld is certainly wary of these players and is expecting a much more difficult game than the reverse fixture 12 months ago, when Wales turned in a poor display to lose 4-1.
"Wales are very strong, our victory in Basel last year was not a true reflection of them," said Hitzfeld.
"Everyone talks about Gareth Bale but they have other great players like Bellamy and Ramsey, who is playing very well for Arsenal, there is also Steve Morison in attack who is very strong and fast."
Switzerland are currently third in Group G and, while they have no chance of automatic qualification, they will have their sights firmly set on finishing as runners-up and earning a play-off spot.
They trail second-placed Montenegro by three points and will have an eye on England's game in Podgorica as they look for a favour from Fabio Capello's men.
Switzerland are then at home to Montenegro in their final qualifier next week and will hope to still be in control of their own destiny.
Fabian Frei could make his Switzerland debut in Swansea after the Basel midfielder, who scored against Manchester United in the UEFA Champions League, won his first senior international call-up.
Fulham defender Philippe Senderos, Juventus new boy Stephan Lichtsteiner, 19-year-old starlet Xherdan Shaqiri and Leicester's Gelson Fernandes are among the familiar names in Hitzfeld's squad.
However, experienced frontman Alexander Frei will not play after retiring from international football earlier in the year.