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Wales hope to take advantage of Kompany's absence in Brussels

14 November 2014, 08:17

Brussels - Belgium could give another outing to a three-pronged strike force laced with pace and power as they look to make up for the loss of defensive leader Vincent Kompany against Group B pacesetters Wales in Sunday's Euro 2016 qualifier in Brussels.

Third place Belgium are three points behind the Welsh but have played one game fewer and can move above their opponents thanks to their superior goal difference, while Israel are sandwiched between the two in second place.

Marc Wilmots's side will again be without captain and central defender Kompany, who was badly missed as their fragile defence was frequently exposed in the friendly against Iceland on Wednesday despite a 3-1 win.

This prompted goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois to lay into his team mates at the end, saying that a repeat of that performance would see them beaten by Wales, whose manager Chris Coleman was at the game.

Belgium coach Wilmots admitted that his defence had not been at their best, but said that he had been busy trying out different options.

One such tactic was a three-pronged attack of Christian Benteke, Romelu Lukaku and Divock Origi, the latter being the pick of the bunch with a cracking left-foot shot for his third international goal.

Wales are no strangers to Belgium after the two were in the same qualifying group for the 2014 World Cup.

The Belgians won 2-0 in Cardiff and easily finished top of the table but Coleman believes his team took great heart from forcing a 1-1 draw in the final match in Brussels.

"The Welsh fans were fantastic on the night, when we scored a late goal, and we've got a huge contingent going again," Coleman told Football Association of Wales TV.

"If we win it doesn't mean we'll qualify and if we lose it doesn't mean we won't.

"But anything they get from us they're going to have to work mighty hard for.

"It's another step we can take in the right direction to show we can perform against top teams like Belgium."

Wales have come to rely heavily on Real Madrid's Gareth Bale, who scored both goals in the opening 2-1 win over Andorra and made the winner for Hal Robson-Kanu when they beat Cyprus by the same margin.

- Reuters


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