“Who will win Euro 2016?” continues to be a popular question as the 2016 UEFA European Championship, or Euro 2016, continue the quarterfinals with a match between Group B’s Wales and Group E’s Belgium. With this question come the usual Euro 2016 predictions about which team will win, which underdog squad will surprise everyone, and who will be the tournament MVP. Of course, as the game approaches, Wales and Belgium’s match will be put under the magnifying glass by these same analysts as this may be another game that is too close to call. Who will win Wales vs. Belgium? Here is the information necessary to make your own Wales vs. Belgium predictions, as well as our own two cents.
Euro Predictions: Wales vs. Belgium
The match between Wales and Belgium is scheduled for Friday, July 1 and will take place at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy in Villeneuve-d’Ascq, France, which is the Euro 2016 host country. To make it this far, both teams had to survive the group phase and did so with the exact same record of two wins and one loss, the only difference being that Belgium tied for first in their Group E (with Italy) while Wales was the undisputed king of Group B. Wales’ one loss came at the hands of England, who have already been eliminated from the tournament by Iceland while Belgium fell only to a very impressive-looking Italy.
In the “round of 16,” the elimination tournament bracket, Wales’ first game was against Northern Ireland, which proved to be a very close contest between the two squads. However, it wasn’t Wales who ultimately beat Northern Ireland but Northern Ireland themselves, as Irish defender Gareth McAuley scored an “own goal” (an accidental goal on his own net) to give Wales the lead and the 1-0 victory. This doesn’t take away from how the Welsh team played because the team held the ball for the majority of the match and just playing well in general.
As for Belgium, their performance was nothing short of excellent, eliminating Hungary by a score of 4-0. Hungary certainly made them work to earn that victory as three of the four goals had come in the second half when the Hungary defense had completely exhausted itself. The Belgian team was also quick to counter any of their opponents’ attempts at controlling the pace and flow of the game by not letting them settle into their preferred rhythm.
Wales vs. Belgium Predictions: Who Will Win?
Who will win Wales vs. Belgium? Many Euro 2016 predictions are likely in favor of Belgium, both for coming off a 4-0 win and because they have only allowed two goals the entire tournament. In addition to that, Wales has held an underdog reputation this whole time, having a much stronger defense than offense, which will likely play a factor in Friday’s game, given that Belgium has clearly proven that they can get the ball to the net. Perhaps they will even employ the same tactics used against Hungary and tire the Welsh team out before going all-out on the net.
Some good news for Wales is that team captain Ashley Williams is good to go following concerns that he had suffered a shoulder injury during the semifinal game against Northern Ireland. And adding to the positivity, Euro predictions should also consider the history these two teams share: in their last four meetings, Wales has only lost to Belgium once, in part because Belgium rarely has an answer for a tough defense—which, as noted, Wales has in spades. Still, regardless of the outcome, don’t be surprised if this game doesn’t end in a shutout and both teams get on the board. It may even go into a penalty shoot-out!