UEFA Euro 2016 Knockout Stage Preview – Wales vs Belgium

Wales vs Belgium, Stade Pierre-Mauroy, Lille

Match Log


Wales 2 (Bale 10, Robson-Kanu 81), Slovakia 1 (Duda 61)
England 2 (Vardy 56, Sturridge 90+2), Wales 1 (Bale 42)
Russia 0, Wales 3 (Ramsey 11, Taylor 20, Bale 67)
Wales 1 (McAuley 75 og), Northern Ireland 0


Belgium 0, Italy 2 (Giaccherini 32, Pelle 90+3)
Belgium 3 (R Lukaku 48, 70, Witsel 61), Republic of Ireland 0
Sweden 0, Belgium 1 (Nainggolan 84)
Hungary 0, Belgium 4 (Alderweireld 10, Batshuayi 78, Hazard 80, Carrasco 90+1)

Top Scorers


3 – Gareth Bale
1 – Aaron Ramsey, Hal Robson-Kanu, Neil Taylor


2 – Romelu Lukaku
1 – Toby Alderweireld, Michy Batshuayi, Yannick Carrasco, Eden Hazard, Radja Nainggolan, Axel Witsel

Team News


The Welsh have no injuries or suspensions to deal with, and Chris Coleman should stick with the same line-up he has been using throughout the tournament. Sam Vokes was picked to start against the Northern Irish and he should continue to partner Gareth Bale in attack.
Likely team (3-5-2): Hennessey – Chester, Williams, Davies; Gunter, Allen, Ledley, Ramsey, Taylor; Bale, Vokes.


Marc Wilmots has some difficult decisions to make in defence with Jan Vertonghen injured and Thomas Vermaelen out through suspension. Jason Denayer and Jordan Lukaku are likely to come into the side as replacements, but Wilmots may opt for a more experienced player and select Laurent Ciman. Dries Mertens should keep his spot on the right wing despite Yannick Carrasco’s strong performance against Hungary, and Wilmots should keep his attack the same.
Likely team (4-2-3-1): Courtois – Meunier, Alderweireld, Denayer, J Lukaku; Nainggolan, Witsel; Mertens, de Bruyne, Hazard; R Lukaku.

Keys to success


The Welsh like to sit back and play on the counter-attack, and they will need Bale and Aaron Ramsey to put plenty of pressure on the Belgian defence when they break. The Welsh have scored first in all of their matches so far, and they will struggle to come from behind against a Belgian team who are explosive on the break. Wales cannot afford to allow Eden Hazard, Kevin de Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku as much space as the trio were allowed against Hungary, and they will need to be very careful in defence.


Belgium have a similar style of play to the Welsh, and they will be looking to create space for their stars. Hazard put in one of the best individual performances of the tournament in the round of 16, and they will want him to play a big role against Wales. If they are going to neutralise the Welsh then they will need a strong performance from a defence which is missing plenty of key players, and they will look to take control in the centre of the park to stop the Welsh from getting forward.


Both of these sides tend to rely on scoring the first goal, and whichever team can take the lead is most likely to win. Belgium should be in control of territory and possession, but the Welsh have a solid defence and are able to hurt on the break. It will be a great contest, but the lack of experience in the Belgian defence could prove costly. Wales 2-1.

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