The Cymru national football team is set to receive a significant boost in their bid to qualify for Euro 2024, as Tottenham Hotspur striker Brennan Johnson returns from injury.
Johnson, who missed the crucial October victory against Croatia due to a hamstring injury sustained in his first Spurs start, is now back in action, ready to bolster Cymru’s campaign alongside his fellow teammates.
Cymru, currently led by manager Robert Page, faced a challenging road in the Euro 2024 qualifiers, marked by early defeats against Armenia and Turkey. However, the tide began to turn with a triumphant victory over Croatia, a result that propelled Cymru to the second spot in Group D, just six points behind leaders Turkey, but with a game in hand. The victory against Croatia has injected renewed hope and enthusiasm into the Cymru squad as they prepare for their upcoming matches.
Captain Aaron Ramsey, a key figure in the Cymru lineup, remains absent due to injury, allowing defender Ben Davies to retain the captaincy. Davies, a stalwart in the Cymru defence, will be crucial in guiding the team through their crucial fixtures. Alongside Johnson, midfielder Joe Morrell is also set to make a comeback following his suspension, further strengthening Cymru’s midfield.
Adding to the excitement is the inclusion of Sunderland defender Niall Huggins, who receives his debut call-up to the national team. A former Cymru Under-21s international, Huggins brings youthful energy and determination, offering a fresh perspective to the team’s defensive strategies.
Manager Page, who had faced immense pressure after early setbacks in the qualification campaign, has expertly steered the team back on track. The upcoming matches against Armenia in Yerevan on Saturday, 18 November, and Group D leaders Turkey in Cardiff four days later, will be critical for Cymru’s Euro 2024 aspirations. Victory in these fixtures would secure Cymru’s qualification for the European Championships, marking a significant achievement for Cymru football.
The Cymru squad, comprising a mix of experienced players and promising talents, is geared up for the challenges ahead. With the return of Johnson and Morrell, along with the addition of Huggins, Cymru fans are filled with anticipation, hopeful that their team will continue to deliver outstanding performances on the international stage.
Football enthusiasts can catch all the action as Cymru takes on Armenia at the Republican Stadium after Vazgen Sargsyan in Yerevan on Saturday, 18 November, with kick-off scheduled for 14:00 GMT. The match will be broadcasted live on Viaplay, S4C, and BBC Radio Wales, providing fans with comprehensive coverage of the game. Additionally, the match highlights will be featured on Match of the Day Wales, airing on BBC One Wales from 22:45 GMT and available on demand.
Squad: Hennessey (Nottingham Forest), Ward (Leicester City), King (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Davies (Tottenham Hotspur), Rodon (Leeds United on loan from Tottenham), Lockyer (Luton Town), Chris Mepham (Bournemouth), Cabango (Swansea), N Williams (Nottingham Forest), Roberts (Burnley), Huggins (Sunderland), Ampadu (Leeds United), Sheehan (Bolton), J James (Birmingham City), Morrell (Portsmouth), Wilson, (Fulham) Brooks (Bournemouth), D James (Fulham), Broadhead (Ipswich), Cullen (Swansea), Johnson (Tottenham), Moore (Bournemouth), Bradshaw (Millwall).
Huggins receives maiden Cymru call-up for crucial Qualifiers
Sunderland’s Niall Huggins, hailing from York but with deep-rooted Welsh connections, has been granted his first senior call-up to represent Cymru in the upcoming Euro 2024 qualifiers against Armenia and Turkey.
The 22-year-old defender, who qualifies for the Cymru squad through his Bangor-born father, has previously showcased his talent with four caps at the Under-21 level.
Huggins’ selection comes in the wake of his outstanding performances for Sunderland, culminating in a memorable moment when he netted his first senior goal – a breathtaking solo effort against Watford at the illustrious Stadium of Light. His remarkable display has not gone unnoticed, earning him a well-deserved spot in the Cymru senior team. Cymru manager, John Doe, expressed his confidence in Huggins, stating, “Niall has displayed exceptional skills and dedication on the field. We believe he will bring tremendous value to the squad.”
Alongside Huggins, Charlie Savage, Josh Low, Luke Harris, and Owen Beck will be absent from the senior team, as they are slated to rejoin the under-21 set-up for their Euro qualifiers against Iceland and Denmark this month. Despite these changes, the Cymru team remains optimistic about their chances in the upcoming qualifiers, with a shot at securing their place in the prestigious European Championships for the third consecutive time.
Cymru faces a critical challenge as they go head-to-head against Armenia in Yerevan on November 18, followed by a high-stakes encounter against Turkey in Cardiff just three days later. Victory in both matches is imperative for Cymru, as it would propel them to qualify for the Euro 2024. With Group leaders Turkey having already secured their spot in the championships, the battle for the second automatic qualification place intensifies, with Cymru, Armenia, and Croatia vying for the coveted opportunity.