GIGGS BULLISH

Giggs confident after Euro 2020 draw

Wales begin their campaign in Baku against the Swiss on 13 June, seeking to emulate 2016 where they reached the semi-finals under Chris Coleman.

In Summary

• Giggs is happy with the way their fixtures have fallen, with Wales not facing group favourites Italy until their final game.

• Former Wales boss Mark Hughes, who managed the national side for five years from 1999-2004, believes Giggs’s confidence is well placed.

Wales manager Ryan Giggs applauds fans during a recent macth
Wales manager Ryan Giggs applauds fans during a recent macth
Image: /REUTERS

Manager Ryan Giggs says Wales ‘are a match for anyone’ after being drawn at Euro 2020 in Group A alongside Italy, Turkey, and Switzerland.

Wales begin their campaign in Baku against the Swiss on 13 June, seeking to emulate 2016 where they reached the semi-finals under Chris Coleman.

Giggs’s side stay in Azerbaijan to play Turkey on 17 June, before finishing against Italy on 21 June in Rome.

“We want to take our chance, just like in 2016,” Giggs told the BBC. “It’s not easy, you have to get the momentum like we did on France. You hope that come June you have a group of healthy players to choose from and if we have that we’re a match for anyone.”

The top two teams from the six groups, plus four of the six third-placed sides will advance to the knock-out round of 16. Giggs is happy with the way their fixtures have fallen, with Wales not facing group favourites Italy until their final game.

They are also familiar with Baku, having regularly been drawn against Azerbaijan including winning there in this qualifying campaign.

“Logistically it’s Baku, Baku, Rome so... for us and the fans it’s much better... we’ve got experience of being in Baku, we know what is like,” Giggs added. “Switzerland are a good team, I watched their progress, they were in with the Republic of Ireland and Denmark, a talented team. Turkey were in a group with France and Iceland, so to come out of that they’ve done well, and of course Italy were fantastic in qualifying, winning every game, that’ll be tough obviously.”

“Italy are the stand-out team in our group. It won’t be easy but if we have all our players we’ll compete against all of them. I’ve got bad memories and good memories of playing in Rome. Hopefully when we play Italy they will have six points already and will play the reserves.”

Former Wales boss Mark Hughes, who managed the national side for five years from 1999-2004, believes Giggs’s confidence is well placed.

“They will be happy with that group, there are good games and whenever you look at who they could have had they should be happy with that,” Hughes told the BBC. “From Wales’s point of view we have to be happy with that draw, it could have been so much worse. Wales’s staff will have experts looking at what is logistically the best strategy to prepare for those fixtures.”

“I remember playing Azerbaijan with Wales and you look at everything that can help you. The Welsh squad will be looking at that to make sure they are in the best possible frame of mind and physically ready to go. I think that’s a good point that it goes Baku, Baku, Rome for venues. If you had Italy in the middle then it would be more difficult.”

“I sense Ryan Giggs is very happy there with what the draw has presented us. Once it all calms down he will be able to start planning properly.”