Wales say Hazard can destroy their plans


Dinard (France) (AFP) – Wales boss Chris Coleman warned Monday that Eden Hazard has the inventiveness to destroy any plan to shackle the Belgian playmaker in their quarter-final meeting at Euro 2016.

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

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

The Belgians were impressed in crushing Hungary 4-0 on Sunday, with Hazard capping a superb midfield performance with a goal.

Coleman said stopping the Chelsea man on Friday would be no easy task.

“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.

“Will we have special plans for Eden? No. We know about Belgium, we will have our tactical game plan.”

Coleman said: “We know where he likes to attack, the areas he likes to get into, the positions he likes to take up, he’ll be playing his little one-twos, his give and goes — the fact we know him doesn’t mean we can stop it all the time.

“Great players can do something out of the ordinary and you have to put Eden in that bracket.”

Coleman said he was 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.”

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