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Wales boss Chris Coleman believes Belgium could be the surprise package at World Cup finals in Brazil as they ‘have a real outside chance’ of lifting the trophy.
Coleman is preparing his injury-hit squad to face Marc Wilmots’ side in their final Group A encounter at the Koning Boudewijnstadion on Tuesday with only pride left to play for as they have no chance of qualification.
The game is also meaningless to Belgium as their 2-1 win against Croatia on Friday ensured they will finish top of the group and automatically qualify for the finals next year.
Coleman believes that their squad – which boasts top Premier League stars such as Christian Benteke, Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku, Marouane Fellaini, Kevin De Bruyne and Kevin Mirallas – can go a long way in the tournament.
“They were 40th in the world when we first played them in Cardiff at the start of the campaign. Now, they are sixth,” said Coleman.
“They are a very good team. We’ve been doing our homework on them and pound for pound and player for player, they have the most expensive squad in the world.
“I’d fancy them at the World Cup. They have a real outside chance. They are a very good team.”
Wales go into the game, which could be Coleman’s last meaningful one in charge as talks over a contract extension have stalled, on the back of a 1-0 win over Macedonia on Friday. However, he knows this encounter will be completely different.
He added: “It’s a difficult test for us on Tuesday night. I don’t think there will be many teams looking at them thinking, ‘We’d like to play them’.”