Belgium World Cup Fixtures, Squad, Group, Guide
Belgium are heading into the World cup as one of the favorites to win the competition, with arguably the strongest squad in the tournament, Belgium are expected to contend for the title.
Belgium qualified for the 2018 World Cup with two games to spare from a group where Bosnia-Herzegovina were their main rivals. They scored a record 43 goals and conceded just six. Yet they have a cause to worry as defensive concerns and injuries to key players could lead to disaster – As that was their faith in France in 2016.
Belgium World Cup Group
Belgium are the top dog in Group G along side England. The other two are World cup debutantes Panama and Tunisia.
Belgium World Cup Fixtures
Belgium start off their tournament against world cup debutantes Panama on the 18th of June. Tunisia follow five days later, and finally they play England on the 28th June, which could potentially be a pivotal match.
18th June – Panama
23rd June – Tunisia
28th June – England
Captain Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne are the top stars. But De Bruyne has rarely reproduced his club form and remains an international enigma.
United striker Romelu Lukaku found the net regularly throughout the qualifiers, with other useful goal tallies coming from Napoli star Dries Mertens and Thomas Meunier. Spurs duo Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen are the essential linchpins of the defense in front of keeper Thibaut Courtois to protect the vital area. Axel Witsel offers stability in front of a back thee.
Manchester City skipper Vincent Kompany hardly featured in the campaign, while midfield maestro Nainggolan was left out of the squad for the final four qualifying fixtures due to internal issues with the coach.
Belgium World Cup Squad
Final World Cup Squad –
GOALKEEPERS: Thibaut Courtois (Chelsea), Koen Casteels (Wolfsburg), Simon Mignolet (Liverpool).
DEFENDERS: Toby Alderweireld (Spurs), Dedryck Boyata (Celtic), Vincent Kompany (Man City), Thomas Meunier (PSG), Thomas Vermaelen (Barcelona), Jan Vertonghen (Spurs).
MIDFIELDERS: Eden Hazard (Chelsea), Yannick Carrasco (Dalian Yifang), Kevin de Bruyne (Man City), Mousa Dembele (Spurs), Leander Dendoncker (Anderlecht), Marouane Fellaini (Man United), Thorgan Hazard (Borussia Monchengladbach), Axel Witsel (Tianjin Quanjian), Adnan Januzaj (Real Sociedad), Dries Mertens (Napoli), Youri Tielemans (Monaco).
FORWARDS: Michy Batshuayi (Chelsea), Nacer Chadli (West Brom), Romelu Lukaku (Manchester United).
Roberto Martinez, age 44, (13.07.73)
Probable Starting XI
Thibaut Courtois, Toby Alderweireld, Vincent Kompany (if fit), Jan Vertonghen, Thomas Meunier, Mousa Dembele, Yannick Carrasco, Kevin De Bruyne, Eden Hazard, Dries Mertens, Romelu Lukaku,
Belgium World Cup Injuries
Romelu Lukaku my be the only fit striker with Michy Batshuayi probably not 100% fit to lead the lines for Belgium, Christian Benteke picked up an injury during training and is likely to miss the opening fixtures.
Chelsea striker Michy Batshuayi is nursing an ankle injury, and was still included in the 23-man squad.