Preview: Wales v Belgium

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  • 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

See Wales’ path to the quarter-finals

Wales’ path to the quarter-finals

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.

Relive Belgium’s path to the last eight

How Belgium made it to the quarter-finals

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.

See how Bale helped Wales to qualifiers win against Belgium

One year ago: Bale scores as Wales beat Belgium

UEFA.com team reporters
Mark Pitman, Wales (@UEFAcomMPitman)
Spirits in the Welsh camp are high and there was another welcome boost as Williams resumed training. Sam Vokes, Hal Robson-Kanu and Jonny Williams are vying to start in the support role to Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey. Robson-Kanu already has one finals goal to his name and could have the edge as Wales prepare to take on a Belgian they got the better of in qualifying.

Berend Scholten, Belgium (@UEFAcomBerendS)
Wilmots has suffered a double setback with the suspension of Vermaelen, followed by Thursday’s training-ground injury to Vertonghen, disrupting a back line already depleted by pre-tournament injuries. The coach will likely choose between Laurent Ciman and Jason Denayer in the centre, with Jordan Lukaku probably on the left. Hazard has been struggling with a quadriceps complaint but the prospect of a Lille quarter-final should be medicine enough. Wales had the better of things in qualifying yet Belgium have momentum. Prediction? 3-1 to the Red Devils.

Hazard delight at Belgium display

Hazard delight at win against Hungary

Form guide (all competitions, most recent first)
Wales: WWLWLLDLWL
Belgium: WWLWDWLWWW

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. Read more in our extensive match background.

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