Wales v Serbia preview: Chris Coleman's side face tough test
Last Updated: 13/11/16 7:35am
Wales face table-topping Serbia on Saturday as their quest for World Cup qualification continues at the Cardiff City Stadium, live on Sky Sports.
Chris Coleman's side sit third in Group D and are unbeaten with five points from their opening three matches, but they trail their Serbian opponents by two points.
The hosts, who have drawn their last two matches away to Austria and home to Georgia, will have Aaron Ramsey back for the first time since their dramatic 3-1 Euro 2016 quarter-final victory over Belgium.
Manager Chris Coleman has declared the midfielder ready for action after an 11-week absence following a hamstring injury.
Ramsey has made only four appearances this season for Arsenal and missed Wales' first three qualifiers.
For Serbia, Southampton attacker Dusan Tadic has been their key player in recent games, directly contributing to their last 10 goals, including two assists and a fine finish in the 3-2 win over Austria.
Ramsey is set to return in midfield, while Adam Matthews has been called up as a replacement for the injured defender Ben Davies.
James Collins also withdrew from the squad through injury and has been replaced by MK Dons' Joe Walsh.
Nemanja Matic missed Serbia's last game against Austria but is fit to return.
Wales have never beaten Serbia (including matches against Yugoslavia and also Serbia and Montenegro), losing eight of their 11 previous encounters (D3).
Chris Coleman's side have won eight and lost just one of their last 15 World Cup/Euro qualifiers (D6).
Wales have lost only one of their last 12 matches on home soil (W6 D5) - losing 2-3 to Netherlands in November 2015.
Chris Coleman has won five games in 2016; the only Wales manager to win more in a calendar year is John Toshack (six in 2008).
Gareth Bale has had a hand in 14 goals in his last 13 appearances for Wales on home soil (10 goals, 4 assists).
Bale (25) is just three goals shy from becoming Wales' joint-highest scorer alongside Ian Rush (28).
Serbia's Dusan Tadic has been directly involved in more goals in European World Cup 2018 Qualifiers than any other player so far (three goals, five assists).
It's a big bonus for Wales having Aaron Ramsey back. Anybody could see in the north London derby that his energy levels were great considering his injury problems.
Serbia are difficult though. They're a strong, physical side that are dangerous on the counter-attack. Aleksandar Kolarov is their danger man going forward for me with his set-pieces.
However, I think that Wales trio of Gareth Bale, who is in great form, Ramsey and Joe Allen, who is also doing well at Stoke, should see them through.
Charlie predicts: 2-1 and Ramsey to score first (50/1 with Sky Bet)