Euro 2016: Wales squad depth will ease our losses, says ex-Hull City defender James Chester

Wales players arrive at Dinard Airport. (Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire)
Wales players arrive at Dinard Airport. (Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire)
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James Chester is confident Wales’ disrupted defence can cope with his former Manchester United team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo in their Euro 2016 semi-final.

Wales reached the last four of a major tournament for the first time in their history by shocking Belgium 3-1 on Friday night.

They will now meet Ronaldo’s Portugal in Lyon on Wednesday for a place in the Paris final on July 10.

But they must do so without influential playmaker Aaron Ramsey and key defender Ben Davies, who has been part of an impressive three-man Wales central defence alongside Chester and skipper Ashley Williams.

“They’ve started every game for us so far and will obviously be a big miss,” said former Hull City defender Chester of the suspended pair, who picked up their second bookings of the tournament against Belgium.

“Aaron has undoubted ability but how much work he puts in maybe gets overlooked.

“Ben has been our stand-out defender in the tournament so far, but the big thing we’ve got in this squad now is strength in depth.

“We have players to come in who have played at the top level, so hopefully it won’t hamper us too much.”

West Ham defender James Collins is likely to deputise for Davies in Lyon. Collins came on for the few final seconds against Belgium in Lille, his first action of the competition.

“All the lads who haven’t played have been great,” said Chester. “I know myself how difficult it is to be watching every week, but their attitude has been great.

Portugal have reached the semi-final without winning once in 90 minutes in France.

They drew all three group games against Iceland, Austria and Hungary before knocking out Croatia in the last-16 with a late extra-time winner and Poland in a quarter-final penalty shoot-out.