Home Sports Football Euro 2016 Preview – Wales v Belgium
Preview – Wales v Belgium

Preview – Wales v Belgium

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Wales and Belgium have become familiar foes in recent years but they have never met in a more important fixture.

The Dragons have exceeded expectations at their first European Championship finals, topping their group before seeing off Northern Ireland in the last 16.

Gareth Bale has been pivotal in Wales’ success, scoring three of their six goals during the group stages, before providing the pivotal cross for Gareth McAuley’s own goal against Northern Ireland.

The Real Madrid ace has formed a key partnership with Aaron Ramsey over the course of the finals and he is available at 39/20 to score anytime during Friday’s clash at Stade Pierre-Mauroy.

Bale has already scored a winning goal against Belgium during his international career, as he was on target when the Dragons recorded a 1-0 victory over their rivals in a Euro 2016 qualifier 12 months ago.

Indeed the two teams have met four times since 2012, recording one win apiece, while the other two matches have ended in draws.

Wales have also kept clean sheets in their last two meetings with Marc Wilmots’ men and they have received a boost ahead of the quarter-final showdown, as captain Ashley Williams has declared himself fit to play, despite suffering a shoulder injury against Northern Ireland.

Belgium came into the tournament as the highest-ranked nation at the finals, but they did not appear worthy of that accolade when they lost 2-0 to Italy in their opening group match.

Since then, though, the Red Devils have bounced back with victories over the Republic of Ireland and Sweden, before they produced their best display of the tournament so far, as they defeated Hungary 4-0 in the round of 16.

However, that result was perhaps slightly flattering, as Wilmots’ men scored three of their four goals in the final 12 minutes when Hungary were pushing for a route back into the contest.

Indeed, Belgium’s squad of star names still looks disjointed at times, with only Kevin De Bruyne providing consistent performances going forward.

The Belgians do appear to have more strength in depth than Wales, with Michy Batshuayi and Yannick Ferreira Carrasco emphasising that point by netting from the bench against Hungary.

That extra firepower in reserve could prove vital during Friday’s clash, with Belgium available at 20/27 to win the match.

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Gareth Freeman Gareth is our daily tipster, who has years of successful sports betting behind him and is always on hand to offer a value bet. As well as a passion for Football (UK and European), he also has in-depth Tennis, Boxing, Snooker and Basketball knowledge.