Joe Allen looking forward to Principality Stadium return

- Advertisement -

Joe Allen feels Welsh football is in the right place to return to the Principality Stadium.

Wales are back at the 74,500-capacity rugby citadel on Thursday, with former world and European champions Spain providing high-profile friendly opposition.

A crowd of around 50,000 is expected for Wales’ first game there since March 2011, and Allen said: “We’ve come a long way since the days when the atmosphere and the performances were questioned.

Wales are playing Spain at the Principality Stadium on Thursday
Wales are playing Spain at the Principality Stadium on Thursday (Andrew Matthews/PA)

“We’ve had great games and great atmospheres at the Cardiff City Stadium in recent years, but we’re looking forward to playing there again.

“For this type of game I’m sure the atmosphere is going to be great.”

Allen has played at the Principality Stadium for Team GB during the 2012 Olympics.

Darren Bent (centre) scores England's second goal in Wales' last match at the Principality Stadium (Owen Humphreys/PA)
Darren Bent (centre) scores England’s second goal in Wales’ last match at the Principality Stadium (Owen Humphreys/PA)

“A lot has happened for Welsh football in that time but I will finally get the chance to play for Wales there,” Allen said.

“I used to go there when I was a kid as I was fortunate that my school went to all the games. There were some great ones and the Italy game (a 2-1 win for Wales in 2002) stands out.

“They were incredible occasions for a kid and inspired me to be one of the players out there in the future.”

Wales are continuing to monitor the fitness of Gareth Bale after the forward came off in the closing stages of Real Madrid’s LaLiga defeat at Alaves on Saturday.

Manager Ryan Giggs must also strike the right balance on selection with a Nations League trip to the Republic of Ireland five days later.

“As a player you always hope you to get the chance to test yourself against these teams,” said Stoke midfielder Allen, who could come up against the likes of Barcelona’s Sergio Busquets, Thiago Alcantara, of Bayern Munich, and Atletico Madrid pair Koke and Saul Niguez.

Gareth Bale is an injury worry
Gareth Bale is an injury worry (Mike Egerton/PA)

“The players are right at the top of world football and a lot of homework has gone into playing them.

“I think there’s a certain element of understanding that you will have long periods where they keep the ball.

“We need to be fully focused and right on top of our game because they are as good defensively as they are with the ball as well.”

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Latest Stories

- Advertisement -

UK News

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Read the latest free supplements

Read the Town Crier, Le Rocher and a whole host of other subjects like mortgage advice, business, cycling, travel and property.