* All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.
Let’s start off with a stat here; Wales and Belgium have met four times since 2013; Belgium won none of those four matches, Wales won two. Have the Welsh wizards got some kind of magical hoodoo over their Belgian counterparts?
Probably not, but this Welsh side have shown time and again that they can go toe-to-toe with anyone on their day. Meanwhile, Belgium have continually shown their inability to deliver on their potential in big competitions. Let’s have a look through the stats and form of both teams to find the three best bets for this huge World Cup Qualifier.
Belgium v Wales – Wednesday, March 24
7.45pm – Sky Sports Main Event
It’s strange to see teams qualifying for a World Cup when we are still to play the European Championships, but that’s just how it is. Belgium could well go on and win the Euros. Indeed, they’re one of the favourites to land the trophy. Although not the favourite, that’s England. Which you just know already is going to end in disaster.
Anyway, back to this match which sees both teams opening their campaign for the Qatar World Cup in 2022. Belgium’s squad is looking in pretty good nick. Eden Hazard is injured and will miss the match, but other than that they’re pretty much going to be firing on all cylinders.
Wales might be up the creek here. At the time of writing Aaron Ramsey has been pulled out of the squad and as good as Gareth Bale is (when he wants to be) there’s just no way this Wales squad can compare to the talents of what Belgium manager Roberto Martinez has to choose from.
Of Wales’ five attacking players in the squad, three of them haven’t even scored a senior goal for their squads this season. However, Cardiff City’s Kieffer Moore has been pretty good this term, netting 16 in 32 matches and we all know how good Bale can be.
Wales can be a bit shy between the posts, but this Belgium side aren’t known for their defensive abilities – over their last eight matches they’ve only kept two clean sheets and kept just one of their last six at home. With those records, we’re getting pretty healthy odds on Both Teams to Score here.
The Belgians love a first half goal, they’ve scored at least one first half goal in eight out of their last 10 matches and have also scored at least one first half goal in eight out of their last 10 at home too. They’ve also been leading at half-time in eight out of those 10 home matches. Of Wales’ 10 most recent away matches, they’ve only scored two first half goals.
In fairness to Wales they’ve only been trailing at the break in two of those 10, against Croatia and England, but the calibre of the other teams; Finland, Ireland, Hungary and Azerbaijan, doesn’t really compare to the quality in this Belgium side. We’re backing the home side to get off the mark early here and go into half-time ahead.
Five out of Belgium’s last seven matches have seen Over 2.5 goals landing and it has also been seen in eight out of their last 10 on home soil. Wales’ games haven’t exactly set the world alight of late, but with Moore and Bale leading the line against a Belgian defence which doesn’t seem all too bothered about defending, they should be able to get one here.
Of course, this Welsh outfit have upped their game against the Belgians over the last few years, but the home side should have more than enough to come out on top here and end that Welsh hoodoo that looms large over them.
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