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Wales v Latvia: Match Day Preview

Aaron Ramsey believes Wales are on the threshold of a new era of success – symbolised by Nathan Broadhead’s opportunist equaliser against Croatia at the weekend.

Wales captain Ramsey leads his team into their second Euro 2024 qualifier on Tuesday night as firm favourites to beat a Latvia side who are ranked 133 in the world.

Wales – currently ranked No. 28 by FIFA – will be expected to make it four points from two games by beating the Latvians at a sold-out Cardiff City Stadium.

And Ramsey is feeling confident after the 1-1 draw in Split last Saturday, which the skipper says has laid down a marker for a bold new period.

“It felt like a fresh start with the changes that have gone on,” said Ramsey.

“For us to start there with a point in one of the toughest games in the campaign was difficult, but it’s huge for us to get a point on the board and get some momentum.

“For us to put what happened in the World Cup behind us made it an important result. It was right up there with the many special nights we’ve had in recent years.

“It was a clean slate for us and a chance to make our own history again. It was another brilliant experience for us and something that helps to bond the team together.

“Now, it’s important we get the three points against Latvia by taking care of our home games. We’ve been able to do that quite well in previous campaigns.

“Latvia will be very disciplined and will try to hit us on the counter-attack. We want to dominate the ball and get the fans right behind us. 

“I’m sure we will have plenty of the ball, and it’s up to us what we do with it. We want to be an attacking team who score as many goals as we can, but three points is the most important thing.

“We know it’s a difficult game, but one we’re feeling confident we can go into and capitalise on.”

Ramsey – fully fit and back in good club form in France with Nice – was substituted against Croatia but his know-how will be vital against a Latvian side who pushed the Republic of Ireland all the way in a 3-2 defeat in last week’s friendly.

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Latvia also earned draws against both Iceland and Estonia in the recent Baltic Cup.

“We’ve got a job to do on Tuesday night to get three points and if we can do that it will make it an even more special occasion,” adds Ramsey, who will march out before kick-off alongside his seven-year-old son, Sonny.

“He will be coming out with me and it will be a really proud moment for me to do that in front of family and friends at a special stadium. It is going to be incredible.”

Ramsey first held the captaincy in 2011 when he was only 20. Gary Speed gave him the armband then, but a year later Ashley Williams took charge.

“I was a lot more nervous back then. I’ve experienced a lot in the last 12-years, so it feels right now and I feel I am ready for this opportunity and I intend to grab it with both hands,” he added.

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