Euro 2016

Eden can be a Hazard to Wales' plans: Coleman

Wales coach Chris Coleman has singled out Belgian Eden Hazard as being capable of putting a team's best-laid plans to waste. Belgium's skipper has impressed in France after a lacklustre club season.
Wales coach Chris Coleman has singled out Belgian Eden Hazard as being capable of putting a team's best-laid plans to waste. Belgium's skipper has impressed in France after a lacklustre club season.PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

DINARD • Wales coach Chris Coleman warned on Monday that Eden Hazard has the inventiveness to destroy any plans to shackle the Belgian playmaker in their quarter-final meeting on Friday.

Coleman and his players are well-versed in the challenges posed by Belgium, having faced them during the qualifying for both this tournament and the 2014 World Cup.

Wales are unbeaten in their last three meetings, however, having emerged victorious in the most recent of those in Cardiff last year.

The Belgians were impressive in crushing Hungary 4-0 on Sunday, with Hazard capping a superb performance with an assist and a goal.

And though he picked up a quadriceps injury in the first half and missed training yesterday, he should return for the Wales clash, Reuters reported. "He's working with the physios and he should be 100 per cent on Thursday," said Belgium coach Marc Wilmots.

Coleman said stopping the Chelsea man, who leads the assists chart in France on three, would be no easy task.

  • 3

  • Goals made by Belgium captain Eden Hazard at Euro 2016

"With Eden Hazard, you can spend a month in defensive situations with your team to try to stop a player like that and in a split second, he can destroy your plans," he said. "My players have faced Eden Hazard before.

"We know he is a great player. We are looking forward to being on the pitch with a player of his standard. It is a huge test."

The Welshman added that his team know exactly where Hazard likes to attack, the areas he likes to take up and where he will be playing his little one-twos. But that does not mean they can stop him all the time.

  • State Of Play

  • RESULTS

    ROUND OF 16 Italy 2 Spain 0

    England 1 Iceland 2

  • QUARTER-FINALS

    Poland v Portugal (Friday)

    Wales v Belgium (Saturday)

    Germany v Italy (Sunday)

    France v Iceland (Monday)

    All on Singtel TV Ch142 & StarHub Ch220, 2.50am

Coleman was also aware that expectation was building in Wales ahead of probably the biggest football game in their history.

"We know what is ahead of us. I can imagine what's going on back home but the reality is, I'm the same person as when I arrived, as are the staff and the players and we have to stay focused on the next challenge."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 29, 2016, with the headline 'Eden can be a Hazard to Wales' plans: Coleman'. Print Edition | Subscribe