Belgium’s much-lauded group of megastars would end their successful World Cup qualifying campaign with the highest points total in Europe with a win against Wales and Romelu Lukaku can go some way to seeing-off Christian Benteke for the lone striker berth in Marc Wilmots’ line-up with two or more goals at odds of 3/1.
Wilmots’ Red Devils are super short at 4/25 to take their Group A tally to 28 points with a victory, while the likelihood of Wales beating the sixth-ranked team in world football seems remote and is priced up accordingly at 12/1 with the draw 27/4.
The 20-year-old has scored more than twice on five occasions in 2013.
Chelsea’s gun for hire has scored braces in games on-loan at West Brom and Everton this year and found the net twice for his country in their last qualifier against Group A runners-up elect Croatia.
That double means Lukaku has bagged six goals in his last five games for club and country, which includes two-goal hauls in two of his last three matches.
With Christian Benteke coming back from injury Lukaku needs to continue his impressive form for Belgium.
Benteke outscored his international rival by two goals in his first Premier League season and Lukaku has been made to wait for an opportunity to impress coach Wilmots, with the Aston Villa battering ram preferred up front in each of Belgium’s previous seven qualifiers before injury ruled him out of the Croatia game.
There won’t be many other opportunities for Lukaku to stake his claim for a starting place between now and the World Cup so he must get amongst the goals against weak opposition here to stay in his manager’s thoughts.
Wales’ injury problems forced Coleman to make six changes in their last match against Macedonia, leaving their defence decimated.
Lukaku will not have played against many back-lines as ramshackle as Wales’ currently appears to be, with Reading full-back Chris Gunter set to start at centre-half as Crystal Palace’s Danny Gabiddon is still injured and Declan John in line for his second Welsh cap despite only making one league appearance for Cardiff.
Boss Chris Coleman, who could be taking charge of his country for the last time against Belgium, has seen Wales concede seven more goals than second-leakiest Group A no-hopers Scotland and eight more than a Macedonian side that currently sit bottom of the group.