Charlie Adam vs Gareth Bale
To see these two have history would be an understatement. On two occasions now Adam has gone in hard on Bale, once in the league which left Bale sidelined for weeks, and once in a pre-season friendly. On both occasions Bale has slammed the Scottish midfielder, and the two have yet to make up. Whilst Adam and Bale may not directly face each other on the pitch, the Scot has already emphasised the importance of stopping the flying Welshman, and will likely be putting in some tough early challenges to try and bring back bad memories for the winger.
Steven Fletcher vs Ashley Williams
The nonsensical situation that led to Fletcher being left out of previous squads seems ot have been resolved, and Scotland will be much the stronger for it. The Sunderland player is in excellent form for his club, and should provide far more or a goal threat than Kenny Miller if he is preferred. Ashley Williams will be the man detailed to stop him. Newly appointed as captain his country, the Swansea defender will have a tough job on his hands stopping the predatory Fletcher getting on the scoresheet.
Joe Allen vs Darren Fletcher
Another Fletcher returning to the Scotland fold, Manchester United's midfielder may be even more vital to his country's cause than the striker. Bringing a calm presence to the centre of the park, able to pass well and strong in the tackle, part of Darren Fletcher's role will be to disrupt the rhythm Wales will look to create with the metronomic Joe Allen. Allen has settled in well at Liverpool under Brendan Rodgers, and his eye for a pass will be important to Wales settling into the match, and bringing their forwards into play.
Aaron Ramsey vs Shaun Maloney
How Ramsey reacts to having the captaincy taken from him will be interesting, but it is attacking flair that will be more important to Welch hopes in the match. He has looked good for Arsenal in the limited playing time has had this season, and usually responds well to the greater importance he has for his country. In the absence of Snodgrass, you would expect Maloney to start for Scotland. The Wigan attacking midfielder will, like Ramsey, look to create openings in the final third. Which of these two is more successful will be integral to the course of the match.
Craig Levein vs Chris Coleman
Both managers are under fire. Coleman's results since taking over from Gary Speed have been disastrous, and the Scotland manager has had poor results coupled with supporter displeasure over his very defensive teams. With the recall of Fletcher Levein may look to try a more attacking style in the match. Coleman needs to get a handle on the talented players in his squad, they should be doing better than they are, and this home game gives him a great chance to unless the attacking skills of the likes of Bale. You would sense a draw wouldn't be a great result for either manager.
image: © Jan S0L0