Martinez & Belgium too Strong for Welsh – Preview & Correct Score Predictions

2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier preview: UEFA Group E - Belgium vs Wales

2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier preview: UEFA Group E – Belgium vs Wales – Den Dreef Stadion, Leuven – Wednesday, March 24, 2021, 19:45 hrs. BST

Belgium vs Wales Predictions

Belgium 2:1 Wales 29/4 at Mansionbet

Belgium 3:1 Wales 9/1 at Mansionbet

Odds quoted are subject to change and were correct as of 23/03/2021.

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Belgium vs Wales Preview

Belgium will be looking to extract revenge against Wales when they kick off their World Cup 2022 qualifying campaign at Leuven on Wednesday evening.

The very dominating Belgians currently ranked No.1 in the world have had below par performances to show against the Welsh till some years ago, having lost 2 and drawn 2 of their four encounters between 2013 and 2016.

Roberto Martinez's Belgium, though, have been exceptional in the past couple of years, losing only three of their last 50 games, the most recent one being against England in October.

After qualifying for this summer's rescheduled Euro 2020, Wales followed that up with an unbeaten Nations League campaign that earned them promotion to the top tier of groups.

The Welsh are without their head coach Ryan Giggs for their last few games and at least three coming fixtures, as he is under investigation for alleged assault charges. Rob Page who had stepped in for Giggs in November did a fine job, guiding the Welsh to wins over Republic of Ireland and Finland.

Belgium form across all competitions: D-L-W-W-W-W

Wales form across all competitions: L-D-W-D-W-W

Team News

Striker Romelu Lukaku who almost missed being chosen for Wednesday night's clash owing to a health hazard at his club Inter-Milan has been given the all-clear signal to join the Belgian squad and is also expected to start.

Real Madrid star Eden Hazard will miss out owing to an injury. Martinez will have the job of finding a new partner in the midfield for Youri Tielemans with Axel Witsel ruled out for the rest of the season.

Dennis Praet who returned to action for his club Leicester City on the weekend after almost three months is also expected to feature in the starting XI. Nacer Chadli remains a key player for Martinez in the wing-back role despite his poor form for Istanbul Basaksehir and may be given a start on Wednesday.

Rob Page will have to do without Juventus midfielder Aaron Ramsey owing to injury. Wayne Hennessey returned from injury for Crystal Palace's U23s last month and Wales will hope to have their No.1 goalkeeper fit for the March 24th clash.

Harry Wilson is an option in the midfield space for Wales, though Kiefer Moore will hope to get the nod given his fine form with Cardiff this season. Gareth Bale is one of three Tottenham Hotspur players expected to start for the visitors, along with defenders Ben Davies and Joe Rodon.

Belgium probable starting XI playing in a 3-4-2-1 formation: Courtois (goal); Alderweireld, Denayer, Vertonghen; Chadli, Dendoncker, Tielemans, Thorgan Hazard; Mertens, De Bruyne; Lukaku

Wales probable starting XI playing in a 3-4-3 formation: Hennessey (goal); Mepham, Rodon, Davies; Roberts, Allen, Ampadu, Norrington-Davies; Bale, Moore, James

Verdict

Wales will be running into a Belgian side that is much different from the one they beat in 2016.

With the likes of Lukaku, Kevin de Bruyne and Tielemans dotting the attack and players like goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, defenders Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen minding things at the back, the Belgians are just too strong to let this one go.

It's a 2-1 or 3-1 in favour of Martinez's side.

Bookmaker Odds

The latest bookmaker odds quoted below have been taken from the leading football betting sites online and are subject to change.

  • Belgium to win: 13/8
  • Wales to win: 33/1

Correct score

  • Belgium 2-0: 5/1
  • Belgium 1-0: 6/1
  • Belgium 3-0: 7/1
  • Belgium 2-1: 17/2
  • Draw 1-1: 17/2
  • Belgium 4-0: 12/1
  • Belgium 4-1: 20/1
  • Belgium 3-1: 11/1
  • Wales 1-0: 18/1:
  • Wales 2-1: 25/1
  • Belgium 3-2: 33/1

Anytime goal scorer

  • Romelu Lukaku: 10/11
  • Michy Batshuayi: 21/20
  • Christian Benteke: 6/5
  • Kevin De Bruyne: 13/8
  • Thorgan Hazard: 7/4
  • Youri Tielemans: 7/2
  • Gareth Bale: 11/4
  • Kieffer Moore: 9/2

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