Do Wales have a shot at World Cup victory?

Wales manager Rob Page has announced his World Cup squad, a historic moment for a nation that has not qualified for the tournament for 64 years.

When Wales last competed in 1958, the team made it all the way to the quarter-finals before losing to Brazil by a single goal scored by star striker Pelé.

So, how does this year's squad size up?

Who made it to Wales' first World Cup squad for 64 years?

Older and more experienced

The average player in the 2022 squad has 30 more caps than in 1958, meaning they bring a lot more experience on to the pitch.

Three players have made more than 100 international appearances for Wales - Gareth Bale, Chris Gunter and Wayne Hennessey.

The team has an average age of 26, making them older than the 1958 side but younger than the Euro 2016 squad.

However, the 2022 World Cup players come from lower-ranking teams than previous years.

The average Wales player this year plays for a team ranked 27th in the league, which would place them in the second division.

Almost half of the players come from teams outside the top division, which is less than in 1958 and 2020.

More than 15% come from teams in the third and fourth tiers, such as Swindon Town midfielder Jonny Williams. This is three times as many as in 1958 and twice as many as in 2020.

How important is pre-tournament form?

Wales have not had much success in matches leading up to the World Cup, only winning one of the past six games, compared to three wins in the run-up to 1958.

But the team's recent performance is comparable to the six games before Euro 2016, when they made it all the way to the semi-final.

So, hopefully pre-tournament form is not a good indicator of Wales' chances this year.

Page has selected nine defenders, eight midfielders and six attackers to take to Qatar, making it a more defence-heavy team than in 1958.

But, as with the previous World Cup squad, the focus is likely to be on the other end of the pitch.

In 1958, star striker John Charles was forced to miss the quarter-final due to injury, a key reason why the side didn't make it further in the tournament, according to manager Jimmy Murphy.

Fans are hoping that the same fate does not befall Bale, the Wales captain, who has struggled with injuries since moving to Los Angeles FC this summer.

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