Five reasons Wales could shock all of Europe at EURO 2016 this summer

Wales joining England at EURO 2016 has produced some pretty hilarious news already. It only got better when they were named in England’s group and it looks like they could just shock a few people in France. Of course, this was made all the more uncomfortable in the United Kingdom by the fact that Scotland comprehensively missed out on the tournament, too.

This is as exciting as it’s been for Wales fans for a while. A trip over the channel to France to watch their national team compete marks the first time they’ve made it to a major tournament since about 1874, we think. There is every right to be rejoicing in the Welsh valleys at the minute, so you go enjoy it, folks.

However, everyone else should be slightly wary of this army of Welsh dragons. Wales are a decent team right now and, maybe, they can hope for a little more than just making up the numbers this summer.

Here are FIVE reasons they may just surprise a few…

Underestimated…

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Some teams, particularly in the latter stages, may well forget that Wales are at this tournament on merit.

We all know certain nations – not the Germans – tend to get a bit flash against ‘weaker’ opposition and this could be an opportunity in itself for the Welsh. Where sides would usually sit deep against a ‘bigger’ team, they may well think they can walk all over this Wales side and it will give them a chance.

That man bun fella

Football - Wales v Belgium - UEFA Euro 2016 Qualifying Group B - Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff, Wales - 12/6/15 Wales' Gareth Bale reacts during the match Reuters / Rebecca Naden

Away from his dire hair and penchant for questionable cardigans, Gareth Bale is a simply wonderful footballer.

The Real Madrid star has played a crucial role in winning two Champions League titles and is one of the very best individual players on the planet at the minute.

Any team with a player of such astonishing individual quality can upset the best sides. Bale, more than anyone, can score a goal single-handedly with his blistering pace and killer left-foot.

Hard as nails

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Led defensively by the irrepressible Ashley Williams, Wales are one of the best defensive units in the European Championship.

They may not the best individually, mind, but Chris Coleman has drilled his side wonderfully to cope with the onslaught of attacks they will expect to face this summer. The whole team is granite-hardened and will be tricky to break down even for the best sides.

Flexibility

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Both tactical flexibility and player versatility will give Wales the upper-hand when it comes to out-manoeuvring their opponents.

Whether they opt for a back five or not, you can be sure to see players appear in a number of different positions and roles throughout the tournament.

Shrewd gaffer

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There is often a stubbornness from international managers and Chris Coleman managers to shy away from this sort of issue.

Despite an underwhelming career as a club boss, Coleman is an intelligent man and done brilliantly to get the best out of a relatively limited squad.