Belgium and Wales both opened up their 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign last night and while it was pretty close at times, the Red Devils were the ones who ran out as 3-1 winners. Now, with the Euros on the horizon and more qualifiers to come, the international football scene is well and truly in full flow.
Almost five years ago, Wales caused an absolutely huge shock at UEFA Euro 2016 when they beat Belgium – ironically 3-1 – to book their place in the semi-finals. While this isn’t exactly the same sort of level as that, you can bet Belgium will be feeling pretty good about themselves and about the fact that they got over the finish line. Now, there’s just the small case of maintaining this consistency, because we all know they’re one of the favourites heading into both the Euros and the World Cup next year.
Belgian flow overwhelms Wales
The Welsh actually started off pretty well in this game and seemed as if they could be on course for a result that many would see, again, as quite surprising. They were efficient and well-organised but once the Belgians got into a rhythm there was no turning back. Wales are so often able to fight through courtesy of their grit and determination and if they start to lose that, things could get tricky for them. The Euros are on the horizon and given how tough their group is, it feels like Ryan Giggs needs to work incredibly hard to turn the ship around.
Red Devils for the Euro crown?
Belgium are currently priced at 5/1 with 888sport to win UEFA Euro 2020, behind just England and France. They’d probably prefer to fly under the radar but that just isn’t going to happen when you take one look at the insane crop of talent they’ve got at their disposal. Yes, the next few days are still all about World Cup qualification and everything that comes with it, but the Euros are just a few months away and it’ll be hard for Belgian fans not to think about what they could achieve during the summer months.
Belgium: Courtois (6), Vertonghen (6.5), Vermaelen (6), Alderweireld (6), Hazard (7.5), Dendoncker (7), Tielemans (7), Meunier (7.5), Mertens (6.5), De Bruyne (8.5), Lukaku (7), Denayer (6.5), Castagne (6.5), Trossard (6)
Wales: Ward (5.5), Mepham (6), Rodon (6.5), Lawrence (6), Roberts (6), Allen (6), Ampadu (6.5), Williams (7), Bale (7), Wilson (7.5), James (6), Roberts (6), Morrell (6.5), Moore (6)
Referee: Cüneyt Çakir
Goals: De Bruyne, Hazard, Lukaku :: Wilson
Yellow Cards: Hazard
Red Cards: N/A
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