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2010 World Cup qualifying draw

John Toshack
John Toshack's side face Germany again
Coach John Toshack feels that his young side can qualify for a World Cup for the first since 1958 despite a relatively tough draw for Wales.

Wales must get past Germany, Russia, Finland, Azerbaijan and Liechtenstein if they are to qualify for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

But Toshack feels that if his young squad realise their potential then they can qualify for the tournament.

"Hopefully 10 months down the line our youngsters will have come on," he said.


"We are very young side - five players in Germany last week were under 21 - even with Gareth Bale being injured - and the night before we beat France 4-2 in a competitive under-21 game," he added.

"As much as you respect all the teams, maybe we can push the Russians and the Finns hard and go all out for that second spot.

"I think for us the important thing for us is to have our big players available for the big games, because we need them as we don't have a large pool to choose from."

Wales' World Cup qualifying campaign will begin in September 2008.

The winners of each European group will qualify for the World Cup finals and the best eight runners-up play off for four more qualifying berths.

"It's not the greatest draw," said assistant manager Roy Evans.

"Germany are probably the best team in Europe at the moment, albeit we had a good result against them last time out," he added.

"And with Russia following them they are probably the two favourites to qualify. Our only hope now is that these young lads (in the Wales squad) - who are already internationals - really become international players in terms of their ability.

"They need to learn a bit in the next 12 months.

"We've had a couple of good results but we've got a lot of youngsters and they need to develop over time."

Toshack's side have recent history with Germany, having drawn with them in Frankfurt in their final 2008 European Championship qualifying game.

Their home fixture ended in a 2-0 defeat, but Toshack was encouraged by how his young side performed in Germany.

Wales' World Cup qualifying draw could have been a lot, lot worse

Kevin Ratcliffe

Wales also have recent memories of facing Russia after they denied Toshack's side a chance of qualifying for Euro 2004.

Russia faced Wales in a two-game play-off to determine who should qualify for the tournament in Portugal.

After a draw in Moscow Russia won 1-0 in Cardiff, but the game was surrounded in controversy after midfielder Egor Titov failed a drug test after the first leg in Russia.

The FAW appealed to Uefa to throw Russia out of the finals but that was quashed and - despite a further plea to the Court of Arbitration for Sport - Russia took their place in Portugal.

Wales are also familiar with Finland and Azerbaijan, having faced them in Euro 2004 qualifying.

Group 4: Germany, Russia, Finland, Wales, Azerbaijan, Liechtenstein.

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