The combined talents of Christian Benteke, Romelu Lukaku and Eden Hazard line up against Wales on Friday night, an accomplished Belgian strike force of considerable potency who happen to be the three favourites (at 9/2, 11/2 and 6/1 respectively – all with bet365) to score the game’s opening goal. They’ve attracted considerable support.
Wales are now 1/3 with William Hill to qualify for next summer’s Euro 2016 extravaganza in France, but Friday’s contest against Belgium is likely to represent their biggest obstacle to getting there. In truth, it’s no surprise to see Wales quoted at 7/2 (Stan James) to win, with the Belgians offered at 10/11 by Skybet; Betway chalk 5/2 about the draw – an attractive insurance price should the (bookmakers’) expected away victory fail to materialise.
The sides drew 0-0 when they met in last November, a terrific result for Wales who have not beaten Belgium since winning 2-0 in a World Cup qualifier in 1993. Another draw would represent a good night’s work for Chris Coleman’s charges and Winner.com offer even money against the first half ending on level terms, while Paddy Power post 6/4 against a goalless opening 45 minutes.
Elsewhere, bet365’s appealing 8/1 odds against Wales emerging victorious following a drawn opening half cannot be ignored, while BetVictor’s massive 9/1 for Wales to win 1-0 has been popular amongst Welsh fans.
As for a goalscorer: Belgium possess an extremely talented forward line, but in Gareth Bale, Wales have a potential match-winner – he’s 13/2 at Stan James to score the game’s first goal.
Gareth Bale to score first – 13/2 (Stan James)