IN FORM: Gareth Bale of Wales in action against Oliver Norwood of Northern Ireland during their Euro 2016 round of 16 match.
IN FORM: Gareth Bale of Wales in action against Oliver Norwood of Northern Ireland during their Euro 2016 round of 16 match. GEORGI LICOVSKI

Wales confident of upsetting Belgium

FOOTBALL: Real Madrid star Gareth Bale says his Wales can upset favourite Belgium in the Euro 2016 quarter-finals.

Chris Coleman’s team takes on the Belgians in Lille tomorrow morning (AEST) and after beating and drawing with them in qualifying for the European Championships, Bale said the Welsh might have a psychological advantage.

“We’re like their bogey team, aren’t we?” he said. “Hopefully that edge gets into their heads, you never know.

“We will definitely draw on those qualifiers, it gives us more knowledge on them. But we understand what they are about, how they work, and we will hone our game plan to try and stop them but help our attack.”

Belgium has a star-studded team, including Eden Hazard, Kevin de Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku. It is No.2 on the FIFA rankings and will be favourite to win this clash with Wales, which is at only its second major tournament since reaching the World Cup quarter-finals in 1958.

Bale scored the winner in a 1-0 success over Belgium in a qualifier for this tournament but reckons the team has improved since then.

“From that night, we have gone up to another level,” the 26-year-old said.

“We’ve taken our game on with playing more games in our system, gelling even more. It was a changing moment for us.

“It was my most important Welsh goal, especially at the time of qualifying.

“It was an important goal for me personally on my 50th cap and for the team.

“It also gave us that belief that we can take on and beat the big teams.”


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