Ashley Williams urges Wales to take Kieffer Moore out of the firing line against Italy

ASHLEY WILLIAMS has urged Wales not to take a gamble on key man Kieffer Moore today.

Cardiff striker Moore – along with Ben Davies and Chris Mepham – is walking a disciplinary tightrope against Italy.

The trio have all picked up a yellow card in Group A so far and another caution would see them banned for a potential last-16 tie.

And Williams – captain on their glorious run to the Euro 2016 semi-finals – wants 6ft 5in hitman Moore, who came to the rescue in the 1-1 draw with Switzerland last Saturday, wrapped up in cotton wool for this final group game.

Wales almost certainly booked their spot in the knockout stages with Wednesday’s win over Turkey.

He said: "I would rest Kieffer because we don’t have another player in the squad who brings what he does.

"I worry about him because of his sheer size and the way he plays. He can pick up a clumsy card or an unfair one.

"Everyone agrees he is now one of the first names on the teamsheet and we will definitely need him going forward.

"Ben is experienced enough to not get himself booked and Chris could get rested because we do have Ethan Ampadu who could come in.

"But Meps is another player who doesn’t pick up loads of yellows."


The Welsh are dreaming of a long run at the Euros again following the superb display in Baku.

Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey were the catalysts for the triumph, which Williams hailed as on a par with the 3-0 group success over Russia in France five summers ago.

Williams, who retired in January with 86 caps and is an ambassador for McDonald’s Fun Football programme, added: "The Turkey performance was right up there with the really great displays.

"It was a must-win game in a major tournament. Turkey was similar to Russia in 2016. It was on that level.

"Yes, it wasn’t really a knockout match but everyone turned up and played how they needed to play and because we played so well, the nation can dream again.

"Yes, it wasn’t really a knockout match but everyone turned up and played how they needed to play and because we played so well, the nation can dream again.

"I feel our tournament has started. I’ve seen the pictures of the fans in Baku, how people are watching together in Wales and their reactions to the final whistle and the goals.

"It is starting to get that feeling like we had in 2016 again."

Williams, 36, would love to now see Wales repeat their 2016 heroics of reaching the last four under Chris Coleman.

And the former centre-back said he was encouraged by Bale’s courage to shrug off a penalty miss to drive at the Turkish defence and set up Connor Roberts' late match-clinching goal.

He added: "Gaz is the captain and the other players will follow his lead.

"He has that attitude where he’s taking the game to people, like he did in those two moments at the end. We all thought he would just keep it in the corner whereas he was thinking, let’s get another goal.

"My head says Robert Page will be sensible with his team selection but I’d love to see them go and attack Italy and then we wouldn’t fear anyone moving forward.

"It would be great if Wales can win the group.

"With this set of players and the way they performed against Turkey, I would say go and win the game."

Ashley Williams is calling on families to sign up for McDonald’s free Fun Football sessions, which will get thousands of children playing football this summer. To find a local session go to

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