The Euro 2016 qualifiers is underway once again, and in perhaps the biggest game of Group B, Belgium welcome Wales to decide who takes control of the group. Of course, with Israel notching 2 wins in 2 games, and playing Bosnia, they might end up at the top of the table, but Wales and Belgium will see each other as the real opposition. We take a look at the key battles in this game.
Gareth Bale vs Eden Hazard
Both players are the respective talismans of their countries, and the managers and the fans will be looking at them to do some magic. Both players are currently in good form, and even though Gareth Bale has had an injury dogged season so far, he has still managed to score one more goal for Real Madrid than Eden Hazard has for Chelsea. However, the impact that Hazard has on the team is similar to that of Bale, and it would be an interesting battle to see who would come out on top with their performances.
Aaron Ramsey vs Kevin De Bruyne
Aaron Ramsey has not had the best of seasons so far, and while it is definitely difficult to replicate what he did last season, fans and the manager alike have not been happy with the way he has been playing. A break from club football could help him focus, or alternately, he might not do so well for Wales, in which case Belgium will have the upper hand. And Kevin De Bruyne is no pushover either, and he is set to start for Belgium ahead of Maroune Fellaini. De Bruyne has been in excellent form this season for Wolfsburg and has been the primary reason for their top 4 form with 9 assists in 11 games. If he can replicate it for Belgium, then Wales will be in big trouble.
Ashley Williams vs Nicolas Lombaerts
Among all the good defenders that are plying their trade in the Premier League, Ashley Williams will certainly be in the list of those players who have been doing well for the team. Wales will look towards him to curtail the attacking threat of Hazard and Benteke, and he needs to be on top of his game to help Wales keep a clean sheet. Nicolas Lombaerts will be the likely replacement for the injured Vincent Kompany, and he will certainly have to step up to the game to keep Wales attackers at bay if Belgium are to not feel Kompany’s loss.
Wayne Hennessey vs Thibaut Courtois
They are perhaps the most important players for each team, considering they will be at the other end of some good moves and powerful shots from the superstars on the pitch. However, Courtois probably has the upper hand in this as he displaced Petr Cech at Chelsea, and his team is top of the table. Hennessey, on the other hand, has not had a great time since moving to Crystal Palace with very little game time, but nevertheless, has always been dependable between the posts.