For English readers it will be a bitter sweat victory if Wales, the only remaining home nation team, can beat Belgium on Friday at UEFA Euro 2016.

Wales vs Belgium 

Friday, 1 July, 20:00

Grand Stade Lille Metropole

A talented Belgium team are ready to take on Wales in a match made all the more tense by the United Kingdoms recent decision to leave the European Union.  Wales beat Belgium 1 – 0 in the  Qualifiers Group stage and drew nil nil in the previous qualifying match. Perhaps Belgium won’t be so forgiving this time.

Welsh talisman Gareth Bale has scored 3 goals in the last 4 games and is the teams genuine hope in keeping welsh fans dream alive.  Key to the Welsh chance of victory is keeping Bale supplied with chances to score, making midfielders like Aaron Ramsey pivotal to success for Chris Coleman’s team.  With a goal and two assists Ramsey has been essential to the Welsh campaign and propelling the team to the top of Group B.

The Arsenal midfielder (Ramsey) has been lauded as being one of Wales’ most important players.  Ramsey is set to become captain if injured Ashley Williams can’t make it.  The box to box midfielder is exactly what the team needs to beat Belgium on Friday.

While Belgium has had a volatile start to the tournament with a 2 – 0 loss to Italy in their first group E match and a 3 – 0 win against Republic of Ireland, they have many talented players.  Many play in the Barclays Premier League including Romelu Lukaku (Everton) who got criticism for the defeat to Itlay, Toby Alderweireld (Tottenham), and Eden Hazard (Chelsea).

The list and quality doesn’t stop there.  Others include; Thibaut Courtois (Chelsea), Simon Mignolet (Liverpool), Jason Denayer (Man City), Jan Vertonghen (Spurs), Mousa Dembele (Spurs), Marouane Fellaini (Man United), Christian Benteke (Liverpool), Kevin De Bruyne (Man City), and Divock Origi (Liverpool).

Two Belgium players to watch are Toby Alderweireld who be essential when it comes to keeping Bale at bay and Eden Hazard who plays striker for Chelsea. Hazard is as capable as Gareth Bale at producing goals, but, probably not in the way that Bale does from free kicks. Hazard showed his talents in a convincing thrashing of fellow Europeans Hungary.  Hazard has been dogged by injury and hindered by poor performance in the Premier League.  Fellow Belgian Footballer Vincent Kompany has said that following his (Hazard) performances at the tournament, and if he can keep up his fitness, he is equal to the likes of Ronaldo and Messi. Kompany himself has had to miss the Euro tournament due to groin injury.

Marc Wilmots has a lot of talent to call on for the match against Wales. Saying that, Roy Hodgeson, also had the same gift but couldn’t produce a win when England played Iceland. Chris Coleman may not have as much talent to hand but perhaps he can produce something similar to Claudio Ranieri at Leicester City in the 2105/16 English Premier League season.

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