RUSSIA v WALES
2019 FIFA Women's World Cup Qualifying
- Minor Sport Arena, St Petersburg
- Tuesday, October 24
- KO 17:00
Jayne Ludlow believes the upcoming FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifier against Russia will be the ideal test to see how far her side have come in recent years.
Wales face Russia in St Petersburg on October 24 as they look to build on last month’s victory over Kazakhstan.
That win saw Ludlow’s side make an ideal start to the qualifying campaign, with three games to play before the end of the calendar year.
And she insists the next trip to Eastern Europe will be a good test for her young squad.
“It’s going to be a tough challenge, but one that the squad are very much looking forward to,” said Ludlow.
“It’s a test against a second-ranked nation in the group and a test to see how far we have come in the last few years.
“We have a young group travelling with us - Amina Vine has been brought in from the Under-17s and Alice Griffiths is another of those - but amongst them we have plenty of experience with players who have been internationals for many years now.
“Hopefully that will help give us the experience we need to enjoy the challenge ahead.”
Jess Fishlock scored the only goal of the game last month as Wales saw off Kazakhstan in Astana to make the perfect start to Group 1.
That result also continued Wales’ fine recent run of form, with Ludlow’s side losing just one of their final six qualifiers for EURO 2017 as well as tasting victory over Portugal back in June.
“It was great to travel away from home in the first game and get the three points,” she said. “That was the focus for us and we have started the competition well.
“Having said that, it is just one game and there’s many more to play and our challenge is to make sure we perform to the best of our ability and hopefully pick up some more points.”
Russia, meanwhile, will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing 6-0 defeat against England in their opening game.
Elena Fomina’s side narrowly missed out on a semi-final place at EURO 2017 after an impressive qualifying campaign, and have featured in five out of the last six European Championships, as well as two World Cups during that period.
“We haven’t faced Russia for many years but they are a team that reaches major tournaments as we saw last summer in the Euros, and they performed very well,” said Ludlow.
“They started this campaign with a poor result against England but having watched that game back we know they will pose a challenge to us.
“They are a good team so it’s a tough test – but not one we can’t overcome. I’m sure they would have been frustrated with that game and I’m expecting a response from those players and we must be prepared for that.”
Jayne Ludlow has again chosen a youthful squad, with youngsters Amina Vine coming into the senior squad after featuring for the intermediate teams.
Meanwhile, Peyton Vincze – who was named FAW Women’s Young Player of the Year recently – wins a senior call-up.