Wales v Belgium: Belgians to win low-scoring affair in extra-time

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Wales took four points from Belgium in qualifying en route to Euro 2016, but De Rode Duivels are set to have the edge in another low-scoring affair. However, it won’t be plain sailing for Marc Wilmots’ men, with history suggesting that 90 minutes may not be enough to separate them from the Dragons.

While Belgium certainly looked imperious in their last-16 clash – beating Hungary 4-0 – Chris Coleman’s men have proved to be a real thorn in their side. Indeed, Wilmots’ side only failed to score twice in the 18 games between the end of World Cup 2014 and the beginning of Euro 2016. Their opponents on both occasions? Wales.

That means we’re unlikely to see another big-scoring Belgian victory, but chances are very slim that Wales will fill their boots in front of goal, with their opponents conceding just five times during qualifying.

There could be plenty of value in backing the 7/1 for this clash to be a 0-0 stalemate after 90 minutes, with a draw of any sort the best selection in the match betting at 13/5, while Belgium (8/11) are the favourites and Wales (19/4) clear outsiders.

However, the best bet of all appears to be on Belgium to win in extra-time at 8/1. Their last two knockout wins at major tournaments have both come after extra-time – most recently in World Cup 2014 when they defeated USA 2-1 in Salvador.

And the Welsh are susceptible to tiring in games against ball-keeping opposition – having conceded beyond the 85-minute mark in two of their last five games, against England and Sweden respectively.

Don’t be surprised to see them last another 90 minutes without letting Belgium score, before being exploited by the pace of Romelu Lukaku, Kevin De Bruyne et al.

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Dave Burin

Dave graduated with an MA in English Literature at Durham University, and worked in marketing before joining the Ladbrokes News team. A Man United fan and avid groundhopper, he’s also an ardent follower of Rugby League. You can usually find him at a ground near you, clutching a big cup of tea.