EURO 2016: Wales v Belgium Preview

Friday 1st July , 2016 6:42 am

The message from both coaches is “same again please” as Wales and Belgium prepare to meet in Lille, though Chris Coleman and Marc Wilmots have had very contrasting news on the injury front.

  • Belgium’s Jan Vertonghen out of finals with torn ankle ligaments; Eden Hazard should be fit
  • Thomas Vermaelen is banned, so two of Laurent Ciman, Jason Denayer and Jordan Lukaku to fill in
  • Ashley Williams available for Wales, who took four points off Belgians in qualifying without conceding
  • Manager Chris Coleman wants Wales “to do all the things that have got us here”
  • Quarter-final takes place in Lille, beside border with Belgium; winner will face Poland or Portugal


Possible line-ups
Wales: Hennessey; Gunter, Chester, Williams, Davies, Taylor; Allen, Ledley; Ramsey, Bale; Robson-Kanu.
Misses next match if booked: Davies, Ramsey, Taylor, Vokes

Belgium: Courtois; Meunier, Alderweireld, Ciman/Denayer, J Lukaku; Witsel, Nainggolan; Mertens/Carrasco, De Bruyne, Hazard; R Lukaku.
Out: Vermaelen (suspended), Vertonghen (ankle ligaments)
Doubtful: Hazard (quadriceps)
Misses next match if booked: Meunier, Witsel, Fellaini, Batshuayi

Coach quotes
Chris Coleman, Wales manager
We’re not going to talk it down. We’re going to savour this occasion, as we have done all along. This is another huge test and it’s another in a line of challenges that we’ve already met. It’s a great position to be in. We’ve got to go and do all the things that have got us in this position in the first place.

Within the group the pressure is on us to keep performing. We’ve had to win differently [at this tournament]. Belgium are recognised as one of the best teams in international football and we’ve played them four times in the last two campaigns. But it’s all about us and our preparation. Just because it’s Belgium, there’s been no dramas in our camp.

You need a leader, you need leaders, and we’ve got a really good dressing room. Ashley is the captain. You’re always worried with a shoulder injury but the medical team have done fantastic getting Ashley ready. It’s great news for us that he’s going to be available.

Marc Wilmots, Belgium coach
Jan Vertonghen turned his left ankle at the very end of training and has torn two ankle ligaments. It’s a sporting tragedy for him. He is out of the tournament, he’s out for around six to eight weeks. It is tricky but we’ve got alternatives. The players are ready to step in. It’s a unique opportunity. These things happen in tournaments.

We are now in the quarter-finals – the Hungary game is in the past and we need to focus on this game against Wales. I think we have to keep doing what we’ve done well so far. Nobody knows what sort of team will be put out, so I really need everyone to stay on their toes.

A manager is always scared of his team having an off-day. It can happen. Hungary went well, but now we must remain focused and not take it for granted that we will win easily. It will be a tough match, it’s a different opposition this time. They are a team with pace, who play good football and a lot of them play in England.

They are a side who defend really well and who have real talent on the counterattack. Now the stakes are different, this is no longer a qualification game for points. We are going out there with the semi-finals of the EURO as a prize – that is completely different.

Did you know?
Hazard and Divock Origi both started their professional careers at LOSC Lille, having crossed the border into France to join the club’s youth academy..




Source: UEFA