Euro 2016: All you need to know about Wales v Belgium

Wales may be celebrating being the last of the Home Nations left in this summer's European Championship, but in Belgium tonight they face their sternest test so far.

Friday, 1st July 2016, 11:02 am
Updated Friday, 1st July 2016, 12:07 pm
Eden Hazard, left, and Gareth Bale are the men to watch in tonight's Belgium v Wales quarter-final clash.

Eden Hazard’s side, ranked second in the world, are the tournament’s top scorers and laid down a big marker in the last-16 with a 4-0 win over Hungary.

However, Wales are no slouches in front of goal themselves – trailing their opponents’ tally by only one overall, a fiery encounter is expected on a freshly-laid pitch pitch which is still causing concern.

Wales v Belgium

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Venue: Stade Pierre Mauroy, Lille Metropole

Date: Friday July 1

Kick-off: 20:00 BST

Where can I watch it on TV?

Wales v Belgium will be broadcast on BBC1


Wales manager Chris Coleman will have breathed a sigh of relief with the news that skipper Ashley Williams has shaken off the shoulder injury that threatened to keep him out of the clash.

He will start in Lille, but it was not such good news for Marc Wilmots who has seen Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen ruled out with a torn ankle ligaments.

The Belgium manager has confirmed the 29-year-old is set for six to eight weeks out of action, and with Thomas Vermaelen also suspended Belgium face something of a defensive crisis.

Wilmots may turn to 21-year-old Jason Denayer in the heart of the defence, while the relatively untried Jordan Lukaku could also deputise at left-back.

Ones to watch

Wales: Gareth Bale

Who else? Wales’ talisman has shouldered the weight of expectation on his shoulders seemingly without a care in the world, and currently is joint top of the individual goal-scorers charts with three strikes.

Bale has not been afraid to play mind games with his opposition so far in the competition – goading England before their ‘battle of Britain’ clash in the group stages – and after a draw in Brussels and a 1-0 win in Cardiff during the Euro 2016 qualification campaign, Bale believes Belgium will not be excited to be playing the Welsh again.

Belgium: Eden Hazard

The 25-year-old is undoubtedly a match-winner and seems to have recovered from a shocking season at Chelsea to rediscover some of the mesmerising play that saw him claim a host of gongs in 2015.

Hazard at his best will be a constant threat for Belgium, and his trickery and pace combined will almost certainly give Wales’ wing-backs a headache.

Returning to his former home in Lille the Belgium skipper will also be in familiar surroundings, so expect him to shine in this clash.

Head-to-head record

Wales surprisingly seem to hold the upper hand here, going unbeaten against their higher-ranked opponents in qualifying.

A 1-0 win in Cardiff followed a goalless draw away from home, and you have to go back to 2012 for Belgium’s last win over Wales in World Cup qualifying – although both men who scored that day, Vincent Kompany and Vertonghen, are out of this clash.

Did you know?

Chris Gunter may have to skip his brother's wedding to pursue his Euro 2016 dream if Wales progress, with the ceremony in Mexico scheduled for next week.