National coach Roberto Martinez will announce his selection for the exhibition match against Ivory Coast (8 October in Brussels), and the Nations League matches against England (11 October in London) and Iceland (14 October in Reykjavik) on Wednesday afternoon.
After the first two match days against Denmark and Iceland have shown that the Red Devils can also get past such football countries at just over half strength, the first real value meters come with the practice match against Ivory Coast and especially the Nations League match against England. long since. The English lost the game for third place against the Red Devils at the World Cup just over two years ago, but the young team of national coach Gareth Southgate has since taken steps and is one of the favorites at the European Championship next year. In favor of the Belgians, however, England dropped points in Denmark on the previous match day, while Martinez can go to Wembley with a perfect report and there is another game back in Brussels in mid-November.
Compared to the previous international matches, there will be some changes in the selection. National number one Thibaut Courtois left the selection earlier this month for unclear reasons, giving Simon Mignolet (in Denmark) and Koen Casteels (at home against Iceland) playing minutes. Casteels, however, quickly fell out injured and is now also struggling with the knee, so he did not play in the Bundesliga at Wolfsburg last weekend. So there is a question mark behind his name. Courtois, Mignolet and Anderlecht goalkeeper Hendrik Van Crombrugge are certainties. Last time Davy Roef was selected.
In the back, it seems unlikely that Thomas Vermaelen will get permission from the Japanese government to travel to Europe this time. Elias Cobbaut is still out and Brandon Mechele is recovering from a corona infection. Since then he played less than a minute at Club Brugge. Dedryck Boyata, on the other hand, plays for Hertha again and even got the captain’s armband. Additional problem in the back: Toby Alderweireld, who has to become the defense leader after Vincent Kompany’s farewell, is currently not José Mourinho’s first choice at Tottenham Hotspur.
In midfield, Nacer Chadli could not make a minute since his transfer from Monaco to Basaksehir and Yari Verschaeren is still in quarantine for the time being. Thorgan Hazard is out with a muscle tear.
In the front, Landry Dimata has to worry about his bench sitting status at Anderlecht, which means that Crystal Palace attackers Christian Benteke and Michy Batshuayi come back into the picture. Jérémy Doku can prepare for a second selection in a row. Liverpool super sub Divock Origi is ready to play again.
The biggest issue, however, is Eden Hazard. The Madrid record purchase is close to its return to the Royal after a few troubles. Coach Zinedine Zidane included him in the game selection for the first time this season on Tuesday. On Wednesday evening, Real will play against Real Valladolid on the fourth matchday in La Liga in Bernabeu. For the previous diptych, Hazard was called up by Martinez, but he was held on the bench in both international matches, which caused eyebrow frown in the Spanish capital.
Behind closed doors
These three international matches will also take place behind closed doors, with a strict covid-19 protocol for players and staff. Because of these measures, New Zealand had to cancel the exhibition match and the country was in extremis replaced by Ivory Coast, a much more fearful opponent.
The European Football Confederation UEFA had hoped to allow spectators again in the autumn and used the European Supercup in Budapest as a test case, but with the rising corona figures in almost all of Europe and cities that color dark red on the corona map, this does not seem like it yet. for right away.
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