The Home Nations have had an excellent international break and Wales could continue a good run of results for Britain and Ireland by taking a point from Belgium tonight.
Robert Page’s side will already get a chance to qualify for Qatar – they’re assured of a playoff place, and the worst-case scenario means that they’d enter the draw as a sectional winner of the 2020 Nations League. However, motivation should still be sky high, with a point meaning that they’d be sure to finish ahead of the Czech Republic in second, giving them a chance of being a home side in the playoff, something which is arguably more important now that Portugal are amongst the teams confirmed at being home for the play-offs.
Wales v Belgium
FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualifier
19:45 Sky Sports Main Event HD/Sky Sports Football HD / S4C
(Maximum 10 matches)
MAR 2021 WORLD CUP 2022 QUALIFYING Belgium 3-1 Wales
JUL 2016 EURO 2016 Wales 3-1 Belgium
JUN 2015 EURO 2016 QUALIFYING Wales 1-0 Belgium
NOV 2014 EURO 2016 QUALIFYING Belgium 0-0 Wales
OCT 2013 WORLD CUP 2014 QUALIFYING Belgium 1-1 Wales
SEP 2012 WORLD CUP 2014 QUALIFYING Wales 0-2 Belgium
OCT 1997 WORLD CUP QUALIFYING Belgium 3-2 Wales
MAR 1997 WORLD CUP QUALFIYING Wales 1-2 Belgium
MAR 1993 WORLD CUP QUALIFYING Wales 2-0 Belgium
NOV 1992 WORLD CUP QUALIFYING Belgium 2-0 Wales
Facing Belgium – the world’s top ranked team – will be a tough task. Roberto Martinez’s side opened the group with a 3-1 win against Wales back in Belgium and have been mostly unchallenged since, but motivation levels could be a tad different for the two sides. Belgium have already sealed their place in Qatar, and to add to that Roberto Martinez – who could be inclined to make changes anyway – is without Thibaut Courtois, Toby Alderweireld, Youri Tielemans and Romelu Lukaku, whilst Eden Hazard has withdrawn from the squad.
Belgium do have a lot of strength in depth – we could see Timothy Castagne, Kevin de Bryune, Thorgan Hazard, Dries Mertens and Yannick Carrasco taking to the field – but Wales should be full of confidence after taking apart Belarus 5-1 in their last game, making it six World Cup qualifiers without defeat.
The suspension of Chelsea’s Ethan Ampadu will be a blow but Wales have star quality in the shape of Aaron Ramsey, Harry Wilson and Neco Williams, all of whom were outstanding on Saturday, and they will know that can go head-to-head against Belgium, with a home crowd sure to give them great backing.
It would be no surprise if Belgium proved to be too good, but this looks to be an ideal opportunity for Wales and the draw could be value here. Three of Wales’ last five qualifiers have seen over 2.5 goals, so 1-1 could be a value play at 11/2.
PROFIT/LOSS (NOVEMBER 2021): LOSS -9.49 points
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