Lukaku facing Bale, a burning Belgium-Wales! ~ #AFP:


This first match of Group E, played in the small stadium of Louvain, will be an opportunity for the Red Devils to take their revenge on Welsh who had eliminated them in the quarter-finals of Euro-2016 (3-1).

Lukaku should not normally play this meeting, his club, Inter Milan, initially refusing to release him due to positive Covid cases in his workforce.

Good news for the Belgians: Lukaku having tested negative, he was finally able to reach his native country on Monday and will participate in the duel on Wednesday.

His absence would have been a real blow for coach Roberto Martinez. His striker is at his peak while his usual replacements Michy Batshuayi and Christian Benteke are currently playing supporting roles at Crystal Palace where they mostly sit on the bench.

This season, the former player of Anderlecht, Chelsea and Manchester United, in particular, scored 25 goals (for 7 assists) in all competitions with Inter.

Statistics which are for many in the place of leader occupied by the Milanese at the head of Calcio.

“The shape of my life”

“I’m in the shape of my life,” rejoiced the 27-year-old striker, a power monster from his 191 cm tall.

But since his arrival in the Boot last summer, the Brussels resident is no longer just this steamroller who relied everything on a physique to scare.

“Thanks to Antonio Conte (his trainer) I have improved a lot both technically and tactically,” said the man who was regularly laughed at for his often rough ball controls.

With 54 goals in 85 caps, he is the top scorer in the history of the Red Devils. The absence of an audience in the stadiums also makes it possible to hear his loud voice constantly guiding his teammates on the field, which makes him one of the leaders of a team in which Kevin De Bruyne finds him with his eyes closed. .

Even if they remain in four games in a row unbeaten against the world numbers one in the Fifa rankings, and they are undefeated in the last 11 international meetings, the Welsh can therefore tremble.

Qualified for Euro-2020 this summer, they had followed up on an almost perfect Nations League (5 wins and 1 draw) to reach the highest group for the next edition.

Still without its coach, Ryan Giggs, caught in accusations of violence against his girlfriend whom he denies, Wales will rely on Gareth Bale (31) who carries his selection almost at arm’s length.

Everyone admires Bale

“Being a captain is a huge role. But he was made for it. He’s been our lucky charm for years now,” midfielder Joe Allen, returning from injury, told The Sun on Tuesday about Bale (87 caps, 33 goals), his senior by eight months.

“You can see the young players but the more experienced ones too, and I speak for myself, really admire him. The way he approaches every rally for Wales, his determination and involvement, besides his world class , are motivating “, he added.

Able to re-mobilize even when his personal situation was catastrophic at Real Madrid, Bale arrives this time on a rather positive dynamic with Tottenham, where he was loaned out this summer.

Spent the first complicated months at the club that had revealed it, he has just experienced a very prolific period between mid-February and mid-March, with 6 goals and 3 assists in 7 games.

The elimination of the Europa League – one of the ways that could allow Spurs to play the Champions League and keep Bale next year – Thursday with a sinking in Zagreb (2-0, 0-3) abruptly interrupted this improvement and Sunday, he did not even leave the bench to warm up during the victory at Aston Villa (2-0).

But nothing like a visit to the Dragons to find the sacred fire.


Source: VOA-AFP.


About AFP - Agence France Presse.

AGENCE PRANCE-PRESSE (AFP): is an international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Agence Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency. AFP has regional headquarters in Nicosia, Montevideo, Hong Kong, and Washington, D.C., and news bureaux in 151 countries in 201 locations.

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