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World Cup 2018

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Home Sport Football

Ryan Giggs keen to see how Wales stand up to Mexico test

Wales open Nations League campaign against the Republic of Ireland in September.

Ryan Giggs believes Mexico present the perfect test for Wales in their final friendly ahead of UEFA’s new Nations League.

Wales have travelled over 5,000 miles and crossed several time zones to take on World Cup-bound Mexico in the Californian sunshine at Pasadena’s Rose Bowl.

It might seem an incongruous way to prepare for dates with the Republic of Ireland and Denmark when the Nations League gets underway in September.

But Giggs said: “We’ve looked at them a lot. They have quality but what has impressed us is their work ethic.

“It was great for our players to see that because if you want to be a top team you must have that.

“The formation and personnel has changed in the last couple of games, but they still press when they don’t have the ball.

“They have some good individuals and every player is comfortable in possession, but what really stands out for me is they look like a real team.”

Giggs had little time to prepare his players before his first two games in charge at the China Cup in March.

Wales beat the hosts China 6-0 before losing 1-0 to Uruguay in the final.

Giggs has been afforded extra preparation time in Los Angeles for this trip, but the unavailability of star man Gareth Bale, Joe Allen and James Chester prevents him from fielding the side he hopes to name against the Republic on September 6.

“I had a training camp with a lot of the younger players the week before we came out and a few impressed me, so I brought them along,” Giggs said.

“That was one of the aims of the training camp and they’ve carried that good form on.

“For me, it’s a juggling act between seeing players I’ve not seen, players who’ve been playing who are fit and players who have impressed me during training.

“I’ll pick the team around that and obviously make changes along the way.

“I’m trying to see as many players as I can before the Nations League in September.”

One player Giggs is able to select for the first time is Aaron Ramsey.

The Arsenal midfielder missed the China Cup through injury but returns to provide both vital experience and a goal threat.

“Aaron is a quality player and he’s had a good season,” Giggs said.

“He’s scored a lot of goals and had a good run in the team.

“He’s had his injury problems over the years, but he’s proved that if has a good run in the team he does score goals. That’s a great asset to have.”

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