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Wales prepare for Denmark showdown in unusual way

Ryan Giggs’ side will finish top of their Nations League group with a Cardiff victory.

Ashley Williams hopes Wales can run Denmark ragged after Ryan Giggs’ squad warmed up for their crunch Nations League tie with a game of tag.

Wales’ final pre-match training session started with the strange sight of players chasing each other in a game that Williams labelled ‘man-tag’.

“It was quite fun actually,” Wales captain Williams said ahead of Friday’s sell-out clash at the Cardiff City Stadium.

“It took me back to my youth, but I’ve not done that one before. It’s called man-tag and it was Struds’ (Tony Strudwick, head of performance) idea. He wanted to make the warm-up a bit more fun.

“We sometimes play games, but it was the first time we have played man-tag.”

Both camps have described the game as a “cup final” with victory for either side taking them into the top tier of the Nations League.

A draw would leave Denmark needing to beat the Republic of Ireland in their final game at home to take top spot and a £3million-plus bonus.

The winner would also move to within two matches of qualifying for the 2020 European Championship through the Nations League play-offs.

We sometimes play games, but it was the first time we have played man-tag Ashley Williams

“We have put ourselves in a good position to win the group,” Williams said about a campaign which saw a 2-0 defeat in Denmark sandwiched between home-and-away wins against the Republic.

“We feel we didn’t play to our potential out in Denmark. But we have done well and worked hard to get here.

“We now want to finish it off properly, and I’m sure we will be very disappointed if we don’t win the group now.”

Wales talisman Gareth Bale has been declared fit after picking up an ankle knock in Real Madrid’s LaLiga win at Celta Vigo on Sunday.

Bale has followed a different training routine this week to the one he is used to before games.

But he trained with the rest of the squad on Thursday and will win his 73rd cap against opponents who reached the last 16 of the World Cup in Russia.

Denmark are without captain Simon Kjaer because of a hamstring injury, and Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel or Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen are set to take the armband.

Schmeichel will be coming up against a familiar face in Wales boss Giggs, who was a team-mate of his father Peter in the all-conquering Manchester United team of the 1990s.

“Ryan Giggs is an idol – I don’t think there’s any other words for him,” Schmeichel said. “What he achieved at Manchester United and what he achieved in football is unparalleled.

“He’s someone I’ve known since I can remember from my time living in England. He’s always been really supportive every time I’ve met him, he’s been nothing but a gentleman.”

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