Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Martinez names injured trio in Belgium squad

SoccerNews in World Cup 29 Sep 2017

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Injured Premier League trio Vincent Kompany, Marouane Fellaini and Nacer Chadli have all been named in Belgium’s squad for their final two World Cup qualifiers. 

Kompany has not played for Manchester City since suffering a calf injury in his country’s 9-0 win over Gibraltar last month, while Fellaini missed Manchester United’s midweek Champions League victory against CSKA Moscow with an ankle problem. 

Chadli, meanwhile, has not featured for West Brom this season due to a muscle injury. 

Belgium have already secured their spot in Russia next year, but manager Roberto Martinez wants his strongest available squad for the double header against Bosnia and Herzegovina and Cyprus.

“It is true that there are three players in the squad on their way back from injury,” said Martinez, whose side have scored 35 goals en route to sealing top spot in Group H. 

“Every day is important to get more information so that means that everyone will report on Monday and then we’ll assess them. 

“I’m not certain if Kompany is going to stay in the camp like the other two players, but the reason they are in the squad is because we need to check them and give them as much time as we can.”

Martinez has resisted the urge to experiment for the final two group games, citing the importance of being a top seed for the World Cup draw as the reason. 

“It is very important to keep continuity and not use the games to experiment,” he added. 

“We need to preserve our world-ranking position in order to be a top-seeded team for the World Cup draw. It’s not the time to change things. It’s important for us as a team to work on what we’ve already achieved.”

 

Belgium squad

Koen Casteels (Wolfsburg), Thibaut Courtois (Chelsea), Simon Mignolet (Liverpool), Matz Sels (Anderlecht); Toby Alderweireld (Tottenham), Dedryck Boyata (Celtic), Laurent Ciman (Montreal Impact), Leander Dendoncker (Anderlecht), Vincent Kompany (Manchester City), Jordan Lukaku (Lazio), Thomas Meunier (Paris Saint Germain), Thomas Vermaelen (Barcelona), Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham);  Nacer Chadli (West Brom), Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City), Steven Defour (Burnley), Marouane Fellaini (Manchester United), Youri Tielemans (Monaco), Axel Witsel (Tianjin Quanjian); Michy Batshuayi (Chelsea), Yannick Carrasco (Atletico Madrid), Eden Hazard (Chelsea), Thorgan Hazard (Borussia Monchengladbach), Romelu Lukaku (Manchester United), Dries Mertens (Napoli), Kevin Mirallas (Everton), Divock Origi (Wolfsburg).

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