Wales vs Belgium Preview: Can Bale & Ramsey send Wales into first ever semi-final?

After qualifying for their first ever major tournament in 58 years, Chris Coleman has the chance to guide Wales to their first ever semi-final in a major competition.

Wales vs Belgium Preview: Can Bale & Ramsey send Wales into first ever semi-final?
Photo | VAVEL

Wales have the chance to progress to their first ever semi-final at a major tournament, after qualifying for their first in over half-a-century when they face Belgium on Friday.

Chris Coleman’s side battled for 90 minutes against Northern Ireland – who did their country proud – advancing to the quarter-final via a Gareth McAuley own goal.

Gareth Bale arguably single-handedly brought Wales back on the international stage, 58 years after qualifying for their last major tournament, whilst the Real Madrid star already has three goals to his name in France.

With Coleman’s team one of the last eight in the tournament, they remain ahead of Iceland and Poland in the overall odds to win Euro 2016, which will almost certainly see them rise from 26 in the FIFA World Rankings.

Following the win over Northern Ireland, Coleman was delighted with the “heart and spirit” on show and expects to see more against Belgium, who face Wales after putting four goals past Hungary.

he Wales and Real Madrid winger has been in great form so far | Photo: DAMIEN MEYER/AFP/Getty Images
he Wales and Real Madrid winger has been in great form so far | Photo: DAMIEN MEYER/AFP/Getty Images

Belgium’s Eden Hazard came into the European Championship with a lot of criticism after a poor season at Chelsea, but the 25-year-old believed his performance against Hungary was his best in an international shirt yet, after scoring a sublime solo-goal.

Whilst Hazard claimed the Red Devils “played well” he also stated that it will be “hard to improve on the performance as it was almost perfect.”

Hazard believes his performance against Hungary was his best for Belgium | Photo: Getty
Hazard believes his performance against Hungary was his best for Belgium | Photo: Getty

Wales - Belgium will take place in Lille, a city that Hazard knows well after spending seven years at LOSC Lille, where he featured over 140 times before earning a move to Stamford Bridge.

The two teams of course were in the same qualifying group, one which finished 0-0, whilst Bale scored the only goal of the game at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff.

Not many had expected Wales to advance from their group, which featured England, Russia and Slovakia, but Coleman’s side remain the last Home Nations team left in the tournament, thanks to Aaron Ramsey and Bale.

The Pair will have to be at their best if they are to advance to the next stage, where they will face either Portugal or Poland.

Whilst Hazard will take the headlines for Marc Wilmots’ side, the Welsh will have to be wary of Everton’s Romelu Lukaku, who has two goals to his name.

Belgium will be looking to reach the final of this tournament, something they haven’t done since 1980, when they lost 2-1 to West Germany in Rome.

Probable line ups

Wales possible starting XI: Hennessey, Chester, Williams, Davies, Gunter, Allen, Ledley, Ramsey, Taylor, Bale, Vokes

Belgium possible starting XI: Courtois, Meunier, Alderweireld, Vermaelen, Vertonghen, Nainggolan, Witsel, Mertens, De Bruyne, Hazard, Lukaku.