So, Wales v Spain! Birthplace and current home of Gareth Bale go head to head in a match of immense personal significance for the ... er ... hang on ... no way ... oh. Gareth Bale is injured. He has, we’re told, “muscle fatigue” and will be limited to a dressing-room-and-bench-only tubthumping role, tiptoeing onto the pitch only for the pre-match presentation of a souvenir golden boot to mark his recently-earned status as Wales’s greatest ever goalscorer. “I’m not worried about Gareth and he’s not worried. We’ll take no chances,” says Ryan Giggs.
Spain meanwhile are expected to leave some of their most famous names on the bench. “He who takes advantage of his opportunity and does well in training will have minutes,” said Luis Enrique, cryptically.
In other news, the game will be the first played by Wales at the Principality Stadium since England’s visit in 2011, and though it won’t be full it won’t be empty either, so that’s a bonus. Spain’s players will wear black armbands, and the match will be prefaced with a minute’s silence, in honour of the victims of this week’s floods in Mallorca. The roof will be closed, as requested by Giggs who wants to maximise the atmosphere, and minimise the chance of the forecast wild rainfall - which isn’t expected to hit Cardiff until the early hours of tomorrow morning - arriving early and ruining everything.
Anyway, and more importantly, here’s an update on Ethan Ampadu’s increasingly unruly dreadlocks: