By Tom Prosser
Wales have been given a boost ahead of their World Cup qualifier against Belgium next week after the withdrawal of Leicester City star Youri Tielemans.
Belgium are already without their star striker Romelu Lukaku for the trip to Cardiff and have now been dealt another blow ahead of the climax of the World Cup qualifiers.
Belgium spokesman Stefan Van Loock said Tielemans will “miss” the matches against Estonia this weekend and Wales next Tuesday.
The 24-year-old has been in fine form for Leicester and has already scored three league goals this season.
Romelu Lukaku out, Youri Tielemans out, and by the time Belgium face Wales they’ll more than likely be group champions. Could they use the game as an opportunity to give some younger/fringe players a chance?
— Cai Parry (@CaiSParry) November 8, 2021
Since making his international debut five years ago, Tielemans has racked up 47 caps and is now one of the mainstays of the Belgium midfield.
Belgium will qualify for next year’s World Cup with a win over Estonia, or if Wales fail to beat Belarus on Saturday.
But, Wales will look to qualify for the playoffs by securing a top two spot which will likely give them a more favourable draw than if they rely on the Nations League route.
The Belgian federation did not specify the nature of Tielemans’ injury, but he got hurt last weekend during Leicester’s draw against Leeds in the Premier League.
Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers said after the match that Tielemans’ calf was “sore”.
Wales have also had some injury problems of their own after the withdrawals of Swansea’s Ben Cabango and Dylan Levitt who is currently on loan at Dundee United.
Both, Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey look set to be available for these crucial two matches but there are some question marks over how many minutes Bale will be able to play after his recent injury issues at Real Madrid.