Wales vs Belgium by Luke
National team of Wales seems to be growing with every match they play. After a good run in Group B, the team did good enough job to get a victory over Northern Ireland with a narrow 1:0 result, in a game that wasn't that attractive to watch. Neither of the teams risked a lot, both trying to preserve their net first, but the players from Wales did look a bit more concrete in attack and did deserve that narrow victory.
Only goal against Northern Ireland was scored back in 75th minute as own goal, as it was third victory for Wales in four matches at EURO. Now, with a boosted morale, they will be looking to continue with sensational appearance and to get into the last four of EURO 2016 in their first ever appearance in European Championship. They surely are underdogs here and will probably try to defend at first, but no doubt that the team will need to respond with better attacking solutions as well during the match.
Wales should be playing in their typical 3-5-1-1 formation with Vokes as number nine and Bale just behind him, of course, Ramsey is sure as one of key players in the midfield. Their manager Chris Coleman is sweating over on the fitness of team captain Ashley Williams (central defender) due his shoulder injury, but the player still should be ready and playing here.
Belgium, on the other side, didn't have really hard job in their last sixteen game against Hungary, but still the opponent was tough nut to crack and actually the game itself was much more complicated than what the final 4:0 result shows. Alderweireld opened up the opponent in tenth minute, but the game wasn't that easy till last fifteen minutes of it.
Hungarians looked for a way to threaten them and had some decent chances during the match, but the Belgian side always looked more concrete in attack and more dangerous. Once they scored the second goal, via Batshuayi in 78th minute, things became much more easier and Hazard and Carrasco managed to score twice more in last ten minutes of the game. Even though Belgium didn't impress a lot in the group stage, thanks to the draw they now do stand out as one of the favorites to reach the finale.
Belgium is set to play in 4-2-3-1 formation with Lukaku as number nine, but also with Mertens, Bruyne and Hazard as offensive midfielders. Defender Thomas Vermaelen is suspended for this game after he picked up his second booking of the tournament against Hungary. Manager Marc Wilmots now remains with a worry as he needs to decide which player to partner up with Toby Alderweireld in the center of defense. Eden Hazard missed training earlier, but should be fine to start against Wales.
- Belgium have won 7 of their last 8 matches (EURO Cup).
Wales goes into this game being quite a underdog and it's reasonable view. I expect an open game from both teams, at least as the game progresses. Belgium showed that they are very dangerous in attack, in every single situation and Wales will be forced to respond in the same manner sooner or later, making the game more open than what the bookies represent.