Vincent Kompany's absence from Euro 2016 qualifier 'great for Wales'

Vincent Kompany is sent off by Mark Clattenburg
Kompany was sent off for a second booking by English referee Mark Clattenburg against Israel in Jerusalem

Vincent Kompany's absence will be a big fillip for Wales when Belgium visit for a crucial Euro 2016 qualifier in June, says ex-Wales midfielder Mickey Thomas.

Belgium have replaced Wales at the top of Group B after Marouane Fellaini's goal secured a 1-0 win in Israel.

But Belgium's captain, Manchester City defender Kompany, will be suspended for the qualifier in Cardiff on 12 June after he was sent off against Israel.

"Losing Kompany, it doesn't get any better [for Wales]," said Thomas.

He added: "Hopefully we can exploit that weakness at the back."

Former Belgium and Tottenham Hotspur striker Nico Claesen expressed his concern about Kompany's absence.

"I hope we can manage to find someone else to replace him," said Claesen, who played at the 1986 World Cup in Mexico.

"We have to think positive and [coach] Marc Wilmots has to find a solution."

Group B table

Kompany was sent off for a second booking, which ex-Tottenham Hotspur player Claesen described as "very stupid".

Belgium's win in Jerusalem saw them replace Wales as Group B leaders on goal difference.

Wales had been top of the group following Saturday's 3-0 win in Israel and despite losing top spot, Thomas believes Chris Coleman's side will qualify for the finals in France next summer.

"We can beat Belgium," former Manchester United winger Thomas added.

"We have Gareth Bale who's unstoppable, so is [Aaron] Ramsey and so is [Joe] Allen. We're looking powerful.

"That 3-0 victory in Israel for me cemented our position in that table. I think we're favourites at this moment in time.

"It might be just falling into place for the Welsh national side."

Both sides will go into the game in Cardiff unbeaten after five qualifiers.

Wales secured a 0-0 draw against World Cup quarter-finalists Belgium in Brussels in November.

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