Back both teams to score when Belgium take on Wales in the Nations League on Thursday.
If you are looking to find out more about the options at your disposal, check out our guide on how to bet on soccer.
The Premier League, La Liga, the Bundesliga and other European leagues usually pause in September, October and November to allow national teams to fulfill their fixtures. But with the 2022 World Cup taking place in the northern hemisphere winter for the first time ever – climatic conditions in Qatar preclude it being staged in the usual June-July slot – there is just one international break in the first half of the season.
European sides are using the pause to conclude the group stage of the 2022/23 Nations League, which only got under way in June. In League A, which contains the strongest teams on the continent, the nations that finish top of the four groups will go forward to the Nations League Finals, scheduled to take place in June of next year. The Netherlands lead the way in Group 4, but Belgium still have hopes of catching their neighbors and rivals in top spot.
The two heavyweights in this group will go head-to-head on Sunday in a match that could determine which of the two makes it through to the Finals. The Dutch have the edge right now, with a three-point lead over Belgium which was accumulated thanks to an eye-catching 4-1 win in Brussels on matchday one. If the two teams are level on points heading into the final group game, Belgium will need to better that result in order to usurp Louis van Gaal’s side.
The hope for the Red Devils, then, is that the Netherlands slip up against Poland at the same time as they collect all three points against Wales. But Roberto Martinez’s men dropped points in the reverse fixture in Cardiff and are by no means certain to triumph on Thursday, even though home advantage should aid their chances.
For Wales, the point they collected in that first meeting with Belgium is the only one they have to their name after four matches. As such, they could also do with picking up a positive result in Brussels – but for very different reasons. Wales are currently bottom of Group 4, which means they are the favorites to suffer relegation to League B. That would be a blow given they won promotion from that tier in the 2020/21 Nations League.
It has been a disappointing campaign for Rob Page’s side in terms of results, but a glance at the table arguably does not do justice to Wales’ journey so far. Each of their three defeats has been by a slender one-goal margin. The Netherlands needed a goal in the third minute of second-half stoppage time to beat them in Rotterdam and a goal in the fourth minute of second-half stoppage time to see them off in Cardiff.
Poland’s winner on matchday one came in the 85th minute, while Wales selected an under-strength side for that game as they focused their attention on the World Cup qualification play-offs – a decision that was vindicated when they booked their place in Qatar thanks to victories over Austria and Ukraine.
Despite their struggles to emerge victorious in Group 4 games thus far, Wales have shown they know where the goal is. The Dragons have found the net in each of their four matches to date, and Gareth Bale has been responsible for just one of their five strikes.
Bale is now settled in the United States following his move to Los Angeles and seems to be enjoying his soccer again, while the fact that Aaron Ramsey’s future was also sorted out over the summer (he joined Nice in Ligue 1) means that Wales’ two star players are in a better, more focused frame of mind now than they were when the first batch of Nations League matches took place in June.
Wales will also draw confidence from Belgium’s less-than-stellar defensive record. Curiously, the Red Devils are the team responsible for the only clean sheet registered in Group 4, but they have looked far from secure at the back aside from that 1-0 victory over Poland. Belgium’s strength lies at the other end of the field, as demonstrated by a return of nine goals in four games.
Everything is pointing towards both teams to score on Thursday. Bale might be 33 now, but he still has the speed to trouble Belgium’s aging backline, which contains players even older than he is. And as mentioned above, Wales have found other ways to score goals in this group even when their talisman is absent or not firing on all cylinders. Equally, though, the Dragons will struggle to keep the Red Devils’ attack quiet, especially on home turf.
|Teams||Belgium vs Wales|
|Location||King Baudouin Stadium, Brussels, Belgium|
|Time||Thursday, 22 September 2022, 14.45 PM EST|
|How to watch||fuboTV|
Club World Cup 2023 Winner Prediction, Betting Odds, Picks
INTERNATIONAL SOCCER | 3 February - 08:16 | Greg Lea
EFL Cup Winner Predictions, Betting Odds, Picks 2022/23
INTERNATIONAL SOCCER | 30 January - 04:48 | Greg Lea
Europa League Winner Predictions, Odds, Where to Bet 2022/23
INTERNATIONAL SOCCER | 30 January - 04:44 | Greg Lea
Greg Lea is a freelance soccer journalist from London. He is the former editor of The Set Pieces, and has contributed to the Guardian, FourFourTwo, and ESPN. A Crystal Palace fan, he is a long-time subscriber to the belief that it's the taking part that counts. Email: [email protected]More info on Greg Lea
© Rebel Penguin ApS 2023 (a subsidiary of Gaming Innovation Group Inc.)
We support responsible gambling. If you feel like you're losing control over your gambling experience, call 1-800-GAMBLER (NJ, PA, WV), 1-800-9-WITH-IT (IN), 1-800-BETS-OFF (IA), 1-800-522-4700 (NV), 1-800-522-4700 (CO, TN), 1-855-2CALLGA (IL), 1-800-270-7117 (MI).
WSN.com is registered with the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) under affiliate vendor ID 89744, with the Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC) under certificate of registration number SWR-000148, approved by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board as a gaming service provider, under certificate registration number 117656-1, possesses a Vendor Minor sports betting license from the Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission (account number 94414163), granted a vendor registration number VR007603-20-001 by the Michigan Gaming Control Board, an interim Sports Wagering Supplier license, under license number SWS 066, issued by the West Virginia Lottery Commission, a sports betting vendor registration, under registration number #100400, issued by the Director of Gaming Licensing and Investigations of the Virginia Lottery to operate in the State of Virginia, and a Vendor Registration issued by the Sports Wagering Committee of the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation.
Advertising disclosure: WSN contains links to online retailers on its website. When people click on our affiliate links and make purchases, WSN earns a commission from our partners, including ESPN and various sportsbooks.