Wales boss Chris Coleman upbeat about World Cup qualifying hopes

Chris Coleman
Chris Coleman

Wales manager Chris Coleman believes his side can kick-off their 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign by beating Group A favourites Belgium.

Wales go into the game on 7 September on the back of a disappointing friendly defeat to Bosnia-Hercegovina.

The Belgians, meanwhile, boast a number of Premier League stars including Chelsea's £32m midfielder Eden Hazard.

"This won't be a freak result if we win against Belgium, we're capable of doing that," said a defiant Coleman.

"They're the fancied team in the group but we're a good team on our day.

"We've just got to make sure it's our day more often than not."

Belgium are ranked 40th in the world, just five places ahead of Wales in Fifa's listings.

But Marc Wilmots' men are viewed as one of the most promising sides in Europe with a host of top players.

Manchester City's title-winning captain Vincent Kompany is joined by Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen, Everton midfielder Marouane Fellaini and Tottenham duo Jan Vertonghen and Moussa Dembele in the squad.

Yet despite their reputation, Coleman has faith in his team as they begin their World Cup qualifying campaign at the Cardiff City Stadium, before heading to Serbia on 11 September.

"We know we're up against a very tough, fancied Belgium team," added Coleman, who was named Wales manager in January.

"A lot of players play in the Premier League, performing very well.

"But I'm mindful of speaking too much about Belgium, I'd prefer to speak about us.

"We've got something to offer in this group, I think we can take points off teams."

Coleman announced his squad on Wednesday and admitted Wales are missing a number of first-team regulars.

The former Fulham defender hopes those who have been selected come through a round of domestic fixtures this weekend before meeting up with the Wales squad.

"We're missing one or two, obviously David Vaughan and Joe Ledley, two experienced midfield players," said Coleman, who called uncapped Crystal Palace youngster Jonathan Williams into the squad.

"Unfortunately due to injury they're not available so that's a bit disappointing but there's nothing we can do.

"We've amended the squad a little bit but I'm happy with what we've got.

"Hopefully this weekend there's no dramas."

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