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Connor Roberts hoping history repeats itself as Wales chase World Cup play-off

Connor Roberts
(Image credit: Nick Potts)

Connor Roberts is hoping history repeats itself in Wales’ chase for a World Cup play-off place.

Wales visit Estonia on Monday, level on points with the second-placed Czech Republic, but with a game in hand.

The Dragons are almost-certainly guaranteed a play-off place due to their Nations League results last year, but finishing second could secure a more-favourable draw in the March play-offs.

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The Czech Republic possess a better goal difference and have scored more goals than Wales – the first two deciding factors in the event of a tie – with Robert Page’s side having drawn their last two games.

“In the Euro qualifiers we took two defeats against Croatia and Hungary,” said Burnley full-back Roberts.

“The next camp we salvaged a bit and we were still in it. I wrote on social media we’ve still got a chance and we’re in exactly the same position now.

“All we can do is try and win the next game. But no game in international football is easy and Estonia have got some good players.”

The Czech Republic finish with a trip to Belarus on Monday and a home game against Estonia next month.

Wales follow their trip to Tallinn with closing November home games against Belarus and Belgium, the latter being eight points clear and almost guaranteed to claim the automatic qualification place.

Roberts said: “Hopefully it doesn’t come down to the last game against Belgium for us to take that second place.

“But it would be better for it to be that way than to be out of the running by then.

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Aaron Ramsey (right) celebrates giving Wales the lead in their 2-2 draw with the Czech Republic in Prague (Petr David Josek/AP)

“If we have to get a result at home to Belgium, then so be it.”

Huddersfield’s Sorba Thomas made his Wales debut in the closing stages in Prague, just 272 days after playing for National League side Boreham Wood.

Thomas had his shirt signed by all the players in the dressing room after the game, with skipper Aaron Ramsey autographing on his right shoulder.

“Everywhere I go this shirt is coming with me,” pledged the 22-year-old Thomas. “I’m just lost for words and so happy that a long dream has become a reality.

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“I can actually call myself a Welsh international and hopefully there is more to come.

“When someone like Aaron Ramsey comes up to you after the game and tells you ‘well done’, that’s it.

“I’ve played against him on FIFA and here he was congratulating me on winning a Welsh cap.

“I’ve been pinching myself ever since I joined up with the squad in Cardiff wondering if I’d wake up. I’m living a dream and I hope it never stops.”