Euro 2012: Joe Allen hopes for first Wales start against Switzerland

Joe Allen
Joe Allen has won three caps since his Wales debut against Estonia in May 2009

Joe Allen hopes to make his first Wales start at his Liberty Stadium home as the Welsh bid for Switzerland revenge.

The 24-year-old's impressive displays for Swansea in the Premier League have put him in Wales starting contention for Friday's Euro 2012 qualifier.

Allen is battling with Dave Edwards, Andrew Crofts, Jack Collison, and David Vaughan for a place alongside captain Aaron Ramsey in the Wales midfield.

"If you're selected for any squad, your hope is to get on the pitch," he said.

"But there are some fantastic players in the squad and they're all competing for 11 spots.

"I'll go there, work hard and see what happens."

Collison and Joe Ledley teamed up with Arsenal playmaker Ramsey in manager Gary Speed's engine room as Wales impressed in defeat to England at Wembley in their last Group G qualifier.

But a thigh injury keeps Celtic midfielder Ledley out of Wales' final European Championship qualifying double-header with Switzerland in Swansea on Friday and Bulgaria in Sofia on Tuesday.

Allen, who has made three appearances from Wales' substitutes bench, pushed his claims to replace Ledley after his man-of-the-match performance in Swansea's 2-0 win over Stoke on Sunday.

But competition for places is stiff, with Wolverhampton Wanderers midfielder Edwards returning after missing Wales' last seven games with a back injury and Sunderland's Vaughan back from suspension.

Wales are bottom of 2012 European Qualifying Group G and will be seeking a first win in five attempts against Switzerland - and Allen hopes the depth in Wales' squad will help the Welsh make amends from their 4-1 hammering in Basel in October 2010.

"We are determined to avenge that defeat," said Allen.

"It was a disappointing result but one result we want to put straight and we want to make it as difficult to come here as they made it for us to go there.

"We are confident and performed well in our last two games, we'll take spirit from that and we feel we have turned the corner."

Wales, whose 2-1 win over Montenegro in the game before their 1-0 loss in England, cannot qualify for the finals in Poland and Ukraine but they could finish third providing they beat Switzerland and Bulgaria and other results go their way.

The Swiss can still qualify for Euro 2012, though, knowing that a win in Swansea on Friday and victory over Montenegro in the final match will secure second place in the group and a place in the play-offs.