One of the final Group B games throws up a tasty encounter between the one team that will feel that they have underachieved in the group in Russia and the team that have offered up more so far than people expected in Wales.
Now it isn't all doom and gloom for Russia, if they win this game against Wales, they will still qualify either as a best 3rd placed team or in 2nd place depending on how the England v Slovakia game goes so Leonid Slutskiy and his players will be viewing this game as a lifeline. Russia haven't done particularly well in the competition I must say with a 90th minute goal against England against the run of play being their highlight of the tournament. They can win this game though, as Wales suffered a hammer blow in their last game conceding a late winner to England. If Russia are to get anything from this game they will need to step up and score more goals.
Wales, as I said earlier, were on the receiving end of a very late England winner in the last game and its now Chris Coleman's job to pick his players up and get them to go again. They're very capable of beating Russia and if they play like they have during the tournament then they should win. A lot will rest on the shoulders of star man Gareth Bale again but when he has been asked questions this tournament he has answered them emphatically and there is nothing stopping him from taking down Russia too. Coleman will need to tap into the togetherness that got them here and steered them so well against Slovakia if they're to win this game but I firmly believe the Welsh can do it.
This is a must win game for both so it could be quite an exciting game to watch with end to end football, I would be tuning in if England weren't on at the same time but I'll certainly be watching the highlights.
I think Chris Coleman and Bale can inspire Wales to victory and therefore the knockout phase of the competition. I backed Wales for 2nd place before the tournament and I'm sticking with that prediction. Russia have been awful and played some pathetic football throughout whereas Wales have been positive and whilst they did sit back against England I do believe that was just because they were out of their depth quality wise. Wales to win.
This game is massively important to both sides and they both should be going for it and trying to attack at every opportunity and that usually creates goals. I can see a 3-2 or 2-2 type game happening here which will be agony for Wales fans and entertaining for the neutrals.
As much as I can see a high scoring game potentially happening, I'm going to go for 2-1 to Wales. Bale will need to be heavily involved but he always is. The thought of Bale running at those aging Russian defenders is what football was invented for, yes they have experience but when you have a winger that makes Kyle Walker look slow, Russia could be in for a long day.
I think this game will be 1-1 by half time and Coleman will have to deliver a rousing speech to help Wales on their way to winning it 2-1. That's pretty much how I think this game will pan out and the Russians will be sent home packing with 1 point from 3.
Could this have been anyone else? Artem Dzyuba maybe but he hasn't scored yet and Bale has 2 goals in 2 games, granted they were free kicks but Bale is special and he's the type of player that pops up at the most vital of times. He's done it for Real Madrid and he's done it for Wales time and time again. He can score from anywhere as he proved against Slovakia and England, god help the Russians if Wales get a free kick within shooting range because he's made 2 goalkeepers look very foolish already, is Igor Akinfeev the next goalkeeper in line? He could well be based on previous evidence.
I tipped it in the first game and it came in. I tipped it in the second game and it came in. I'm tipping it in the third game, it has to be done doesn't it? He's such a great set piece taker and if Wales need a goal and win a free kick, some fans might already start celebrating!