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Belgium v Wales Tips: Bale the key play at the Den Dreef

Belgium v Wales Tips: Gareth Bale features
Belgium v Wales Tips: Gareth Bale features

FIFA’s highest ranked nation takes on 18th as Belgium welcome Wales to the Den Dreef this evening at 19:45. 

The Red Devils have struggled in their recent bouts to tame The Dragons. This is best illustrated by the fact that their last victory over Wales came back in 2012. However, the bookies clearly fancy this star studded nation to make light work of manager-less Wales, pricing them at around 2/7 (78% implied probability of victory). 

There was concern that leading goalscorer Romelu Lukaku would not be available for this one after a corona outbreak at Inter Milan, however, he is now expected to start. Axel Witsel has been ruled out of Euro 2021 which means that Roberto Martinez will have to find a new CM partner for Youri Tielemans. 

As for the visitors, Aaron Ramsey misses out with injury. Elsewhere, Ben Davies and Tom Lockyer have both pulled out with injuries which should see Ethan Ampadu slot into the left hand side of a three man defence. 

Today's football tips
Kieffer Moore to be carded
Odds correct as of 2021-03-24 09:55 Odds subject to change.

Kieffer Moore looked to be feeling the effects of a hectic schedule towards the latter stages of the South Wales Derby on Saturday evening. However, that is the price you have to pay when you are the main man and the cumbersome striker has certainly become the focal point for both club and country this campaign. 

Moore has racked up a combined total 18 goals for the Blue Birds and the Dragons this season and such is the nature of his game that goals and bookings go hand in hand. He has seven yellows in total, three of which have come in the 314 minutes he has played in the Nations League for Wales. 

Staggeringly, in his three competitive starts for his nation he has conceded 12 fouls and with the Turkish referee Cüneyt Çakir incharge he will not get away with many here. 

World Cup betting
Gareth Bale 3+ shots
Odds correct as of 2021-03-24 09:55 Odds subject to change.

For club and country this campaign, Gareth Bale has averaged 2.3 shots per game. Since rejoining Spurs on loan, he has scored ten goals in 25 appearances, however, he appears to be amidst a purple patch having bagged himself two braces in his last four Premier League appearances. As Wales’ dead ball specialist, I would not want to put anyone of him bagging one in Belgium tomorrow at 40/1 with Betfair… 

Bale has always been a player that thrives when representing his nation, he was WhoScored’s starman when these sides last locked horns in the quarter-finals of the 2016 Euros. The Galatico has captained the Dragons in four of their six competitive games this season - every game he has started - during which time he has been responsible for just under a third of their total shots and 39% of their shots on target! 

In his last three starts for Wales, Bale has accumulated 13 shots. He met Betfair’s line of three twice over in his most recent appearance vs Finland despite the fact that he only played an hour!

As previously alluded to, Wales are a side that Belgium have struggled against recently and I think Bale could be a real thorn in Martinez’s side tomorrow evening. It might be worth shopping around for the best price though as not all bookmakers have priced it up as I write.

De Bruyne and Bale 1+ Shot on Target from Outside the Box Each
Odds correct as of 2021-03-24 10:00 Odds subject to change.

For Wales, 50% of Bale’s 14 shots have come from deep. He has registered three shots on target from outside the box as this bet has landed in two of his starts.  

Kevin De Bruyne is expected to start in a slightly more advanced role to the one he plays at City. Throughout his career, 61% of the shots he has registered domestically have come from outside the box. For the national side this season, 83% of his shots have come from outside, in fact the only one that did not was his goal against Denmark.

As the number one ranked nation, Belgium’s golden generation often encounters a low block which encourages shots from range. As you can see from his underlying statistics, De Bruyne often obliges. 

Best of luck if you are following any of these selections and please remember to gamble responsibly. 

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