Wales v Belgium Betting Preview

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Updated: June 30, 2016
Bale

The Euro 2016 quarter final stage’s maiden game gets underway tomorrow as Wales take on Belgium at the Grand Stade Lille Métropole. With the prospect of facing either Portugal or Poland in the semi-finals, both sides will be gunning for the win on Friday evening.

Wales are currently price as 9/2 outsiders whilst Belgium are 20/27 favourites to book their place in the final four of France 2016.

Today we preview all the action and find out where the betting value lies.

Wales – the story so far

After England’s embarrassing round of 16 exit from the competition and Northern Ireland also no longer taking part following defeat to Wales themselves, Chris Coleman’s side are now the only team left in Euro 2016 flying the flag for Great Britain.

In a tournament that has already gone down as their best ever showing in a European Championships, what is monumentally clear is the sheer influence Gareth Bale has on this fledging Welsh team. After netting three goals in France this summer and currently sharing the number 1 spot in the top scorers’ rankings along with Alvaro Morata and Antoine Griezmann, the Real Madrid attacker’s goal scoring prowess is what has spearheaded Wales into the last eight.

It was a tightly-contested affair when Wales took on Northern Ireland at x last weekend. In a cruel twist of fate, a plucky Norn Iron side who’d arguably had the better chances during the match were on the wrong end of an own goal scored by defender Gareth McAuley. It was Bale’s teasing cross which forced McAuley to turn the ball into his own net and ultimately seal the momentous win but manager Chris Coleman did not mince his words in the post-match conference when discussing the overall performance of his men.

“We didn’t really play well at all, which is a credit to Northern Ireland. They make it very difficult for their opponents. We weren’t allowed to play our normal game. It was an ugly win, but who cares? We’ve had to win differently every time in France, which says a lot about the players.”

Belgium – the story so far

Belgium are a side who are slowly but surely gathering momentum as we approach the business end of Euro 2016. Despite an opening defeat to Italy in a game in which Marc Wilmot’s men made a very poor account of themselves, they have since bounced back with conviction, winning their last three games with wins over the Republic of Ireland, Sweden and Hungary respectively.

There’s no doubting the clutch of world class talent Belgium have at their disposal and just when you thought their star-studded side were going to derail under the pressure, some of their biggest names such as Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku have turned it on when it’s really mattered at France 2016.

Such is the quality they possess, Belgium are 20/27 favourites going into this tie and it’s firmly expected that Lukaku and co will cause plenty of problems for the likes of Ashley Williams and Ben Davies in the Wales defence. At the other end of the field, the stern defensive pairing of Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen that almost won Tottenham Hotspur their first Premier League title will certainly make Belgium especially hard to break down with the likes of Axel Witsel sitting in front, also helping patroll their backline.

Predicted Line-ups

Wales: Hennessey, Gunter, Davies, Williams, Chester, Ramsey, Allen, Ledley, Taylor, Vokes, Bale.

Belgium: Courtois, Alderweireld , Denayer, Meunier, Vertonghen, Witsel, Nainggolan, De Bruyne, Mertens, Hazard, Lukaku.

Team News

Wales: Dragons fans will breathe a sigh of relief after the news that defender Ashley Williams will be fit to face Belgium tomorrow. It was a heart-in-the-mouth final few minutes in Wales’ win against Northern Ireland last weekend, especially seeing as Williams who has been a stand-out performer in their rearguard looked to be carrying an injury which forced him to hold his left arm against chest during the climatic moments of the match.

Apart from their minor Williams scare, Wales have a fully fit squad to choose from as they flew out to Lille this week.

Belgium: Slight concerns were raised following the news that Eden Hazard was absent from Belgium training on Tuesday.

“We are working on getting him 100% fit,” said Belgium boss Marc Wilmots in a recent press conference with his Red Devils’ side still awaiting confirmation on whether the Chelsea winger will be fit for Friday night.

“I cannot give you a specific time when that will happen, nor can I tell you that he will be OK.”

He added: “I really hope he will be able to train on Wednesday – but he still has some pain in his thigh.”

Betting Tips

In all four of Wales’ Euro 2016 games so far, they’ve been the first team to hit the back of the net. With that in mind and the current form Gareth Bale is in, we quite like the look of Bale to score first at a price of 23/4. The attacking talent on display for both sides means a likely frantic start to the game will ensue, paving the way for Welsh Galactico Bale to test Belgium keeper Thibaut Courtois early on. With Eden Hazard’s all-action display and stunning goal against Hungary in their last 16 tie last weekend, we’d also be partial to backing him to score any time at 49/20.

In regards to the match result itself, with Belgium’s class likely showing in the end, a bet on both teams to score but the Belgian’s to win the tie at 7/2 is what we’d recommend adding to your betting slip this evening.

Betting Tip: Gareth Bale to score first – 23/4

Betting Tip: Belgium to win and both to score – 7/2

Betting Tip: Eden Hazard to score any time – 49/20

Key Markets

Wales – 9/2

Draw – 5/2

Belgium – 20/27

Gareth Bale to score first – 23/4

Eden Hazard to score any time – 49/20

Belgium to win 2-1 – 33/4

Outright Odds going into the game

France – 3/1

Germany – 3/1

Belgium – 4/1

Italy – 6/1

Portugal – 7/1

Poland – 18/1

Wales – 25/1

Iceland – 40/1

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