Red Devils to Pressure Red Dragons into a Corner

Belgium have had more corners than any other side at Euro 2016 bar Spain.

That Belgium has beaten Ireland, Sweden and Hungary without conceding a goal has failed to convince one that it is the real deal and one is not falling over oneself to back the Red Devils at odds against to beat Wales on Friday.

Belgium and Wales met twice during UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying and the Red Devils failed to defeat the Red Dragons, losing 0-1 in Cardiff and drawing 0-0 in Belgium. Indeed, none of the most recent three matches between Belgium and Wales has resulted in a Red Devils win and all of them have occurred since October 2013. Belgium has several fine individuals but the Red Devils are not a team in the true sense of the word and their coach, Marc Wilmots, does not inspire confidence.

One does not doubt that, man for man, Belgium is superior to Wales but bookmakers are quoting the Red Devils at odds that are too short for one to nominate the favourites as punting material. Instead, one is focusing on the exotic markets available on the second UEFA Euro 2016 quarter-final.

Trawl through the pages of statistics – both pertaining to UEFA Euro 2016 and its qualifying tournament – and the data that leaps out when one is looking for differences between Belgium and Wales relates to corner kicks. In simple terms, Belgium forces a lot of corner kicks and Wales does not.


Belgium has taken 33 corner kicks in its four UEFA Euro 2016 games and only Spain has averaged more corners than the Red Devils. Wales has taken 10 corner kicks in its four UEFA Euro 2016 games and only Slovakia has averaged fewer corners than the Red Dragons. Statistical differences does not get much starker than that, albeit based on a small sample.

Thankfully, one has quite a lot of recent head-to-head data on which to lean as well. Belgium beat Wales 8-3 on corner kicks when the sides met during UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying in Brussels, while the Red Devils defeated the Red Dragons 9-1 on corners in the Cardiff reverse fixture. Go back to FIFA World Cup qualifying for the 2014 finals in Brazil and one finds that Belgium beat Wales 7-6 and 16-6 on corner kicks.

Bookmakers are being stingy with their odds about Belgium having more corner kicks than Wales in the UEFA Euro 2016 quarter-final. One understands that. William Hill, though, is offering odds of -118  about Belgium going over six and a half corner kicks and that rates as one’s headline pick.

One expects Wales manager Chris Coleman to set up his team to frustrate Belgium and hope that one of the Red Dragons superstars, Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey, create something on the break. Each of the last four matches between Belgium and Wales has gone under two and a half goals and none of them dates beyond the September 2012 showdown in which the Red Dragons played all bar the first 26 minutes with 10 men.

Marathonbet is listing odds of -156  about the UEFA Euro 2016 quarter-final between Belgium and Wales going under two and a half goals when one was expecting to see odds of -200 .

Finally, if one must have a wager on the raw result of the UEFA Euro 2016 game between Belgium and Wales then backing the Red Dragons not to lose to the Red Devils in normal time at odds of +120  with several bookmakers, including 888Sport, Coral and Unibet is the most appealing of the options.

Tips Summary

Belgium to go over 6.5 Corners
Friday 1st July, 20:00 GMT
Odds:  -118

Wales v Belgium – Under 2.5 Goals
Friday 1st July, 20:00 GMT
Odds:  -156

Wales or Draw Double Chance
Friday 1st July, 20:00 GMT
Odds:  +120

Euro 2016
Quarter Final

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