Belgium welcome Wales to King Baudouin Stadium, Brussels, in a crunch match in UEFA Nations League A4.
Victory could put Belgium top of Group 4 in League A if Netherlands lose elsewhere, whilst Wales must win to realistically avoid relegation.
A draw however would be enough to keep Wales’ survival hopes alive if Poland fail to beat Netherlands.
Zeno Debast is the only new name in Belgium’s squad after he was handed his first call-up by Belgium manager – Roberto Martinez, who is assessing his squad ahead of November’s World Cup.
Martinez though is thought to opt for an experienced starting line-up with players including Thomas Meunier, Kevin De Bruyne and Dries Mertens looking to start.
Wales will be without midfielder, Joe Allen who has withdrawn from the squad with a hamstring injury.
Jordan James has therefore received his first senior call-up to replace Allen, whilst defender – Ben Davies has also withdrawn due to a knee injury.
- Belgium drew 1-1 against Wales in their only previous UEFA Nations League clash, after the hosts’ Brennan Johnson cancelled out Youri Tielesman’s opener in Cardiff in June.
- Wales are yet to win away to Belgium in all competitions (D5, L4).
- Belgium have kept just one clean sheet in their last four home matches against Wales in all competitions.
- Four of Belgium’s nine goals in this UEFA Nations League group were scored by Michy Batshuayi and Leandro Trossard, who have both scored two goals apiece.
- Four of Wales’ five goals in this UEFA Nations League Group were scored after half-time, of which two of those four second-half goals were scored in second minute of injury time.
With a place in UEFA Nations League Finals at stake amidst a tricky campaign, Belgium know that they can’t afford to slip up because if they do, Netherlands will win the group if they beat Poland in the other group match.
Wales meanwhile simply must win in order to set up a relegation decider against Poland on Sunday evening, yet their defending has cost them at least three points because their attack has certainly matched their superior group opposition so a more rounded performance is crucial here.
This fixture though has a habit of seeing goals at both ends so I do expect a tough battle which could have huge implications for the group outcome, depending on what happens between Netherlands and Poland elsewhere which hopefully will mean an edgy battle in Brussels.
I though am going for a Belgium win because despite missing players like Romelu Lukaku and Adnan Januzaj, they should still have enough quality to beat Wales at home if Rob Page’s Dragons don’t sort out their defensive issues which has been their downfall all tournament long.
Prediction: Belgium 2-1 Wales
Result: Belgium 2-1 Wales