Ramsey ready to silence Vermaelen

Wales captain Aaron Ramsey hopes he can silence the taunting texts of Thomas Vermaelen when the Dragons face Belgium on Friday night.

Last Updated: 06/09/12 at 16:36

Ramsey: Ready for Belgium test

Ramsey: Ready for Belgium test

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Wales begin their bid to qualify for the 2014 World Cup against the heavily fancied Belgians, who are fresh from a 4-2 win over Holland, at Cardiff City Stadium.

With the visitors including Chelsea's stylish playmaker Eden Hazard, Tottenham's Jan Vertonghen and Moussa Dembele, Everton's Marouane Fellaini and Vermaelen, Wales will go into the game as underdogs.

Midfielder Ramsey revealed that his Gunners' colleague Vermaelen has not been shy in reminding him of the star quality Belgium possess, but hopes he and Wales can put a dent in the defender's confidence.

Ramsey said: "It has been going on for a few months now. We all know the quality they have, a lot of their players have established themselves in the Premier League and started the season well.

"Obviously he has been giving me a bit of banter over the last few weeks, which I won't repeat, but we are looking forward to it and we are confident in our own abilities, we have some very good players in our squad as well.

"We are at home as well, with our home support behind us and hopefully that will help us get off to a good start."

Belgium lie just five places above Wales in the latest FIFA world rankings, but the home side head into the fixture without several important players.

Among those ruled out by injury are Craig Bellamy, Neil Taylor, Andrew Crofts, Wayne Hennessey, Joe Ledley, David Vaughan and Jack Collison.

But the mood in the home camp has been relaxed, despite a run of three straight defeats, as shown by a boisterous table-tennis competition taking place outside the room where Ramsey was giving his press conference, with strikers Rob Earnshaw and Steve Morison coming out on top.

And manager Chris Coleman is refusing to play down his side's chances, telling his players to show the bravery to go with their talent as they look to cause what many would consider an upset.

He said: "We can talk all day about how good Belgium are and the individual players they have got, but this is a game of football and when you go into a contest anything can happen.

"We know all about Belgium, but we can't go into the game thinking maybe if we get lots of luck we can sneak through it and go in under the radar.

"We can't have that approach and we won't have that approach.

"They are coming into our backyard, into our capital and we have good players and have to bring it on the night.

"We don't want to concern ourselves too much with how good Belgium are. We have got to go into it with confidence, with belief and courage and in a game of football over 90 minutes anything can happen. We know that, we have seen it before."

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