Belgium vs Canada is next as 2018 World Cup bronze medallists Belgium face a history-making Canada side on Wednesday evening.
- Location: Ar-Rayyan, Qatar
- Stadium: Ahmed bin Ali Stadium
- Date: Wednesday 24 November
- Kick-off Time: 12:30 AM IST
- Watch: Sports 18/HD, Jio Cinema App
Belgium vs Canada: Match Preview:
Canada’s first World Cup match since 1986 presents a massive challenge as they take on Belgium, the second-ranked team in the world.
Belgium, led by Kevin De Bruyne, feature multiple top European players who will look to take an early command of Group F. Yet Canada will hope to put up a fight and surprise amidst a tough group that also includes the 2018 runners-up Croatia.
John Herdman has been touted for his man-management skills, fostering a togetherness amongst the Canada squad, but also for his tactical acumen. Les Rouges are known for their flexibility in set-up, able to play in multiple formations.
While Belgium are heavily favored, Canada are a trendy upset pick and could still quality for the knockout stage even if they fail to secure a shock result against the group’s top-ranked side.
Thomas Meunier missed Borussia Dortmund’s final five Bundesliga matches before joining the Belgian squad with a fractured cheekbone. The 31-year-old has been able to take part in training with a protective, eery cream mask which he acknowledged when tweeting: “Michael Myers is back. Start fearing!”
Romelu Lukaku has played less than half an hour of football for Inter since August after sustaining a pair of hamstring injuries in quick succession.
Roberto Martinez included Belgium’s all-time top scorer in his squad but was vague over his involvement in the coming weeks, offering: “We’ve worked well with the medical staff of Inter and we hope that he’ll have a good World Cup.”
It’s subsequently emerged that Lukaku is unlikely to feature in Belgium’s first two games.
Canada’s major injury concern is also the team’s best player. Bayern Munich’s Alphonso Davies picked up a hamstring problem while playing for the Bavarians at the start of November. The 22-year-old missed both of his country’s pre-World Cup friendlies, leaving his availability this Wednesday in doubt.
Belgium vs Canada: Head to Head:
Belgium have faced Canada once before; they won that game.
Belgian midfielder Youri Tielemans has made four goal contributions in the Premier League for Leicester City this season.
Belgian forward Leandro Trossard has made nine goal contributions in the Premier League for Brighton & Hove Albion.
Belgium Starting 11 (3-4-2-1): Courtois; Dendoncker, Alderweireld, Vertonghen; Meunier, Witsel, Tielemans, Carrasco; De Bruyne, E Hazard; Batshuayi.
Bench: Mignolet, Casteels, Theate, Faes, Debast, T Hazard, Onana, Vanaken, Castagne, Mertens, Trossard, De Ketelaere, Openda, Doku.
Canada Starting 11 (3-4-3): Borjan; Johnston, Vitoria, Miller; Laryea, Eustaquio, Hutchinson, Adekugbe; Buchanan, Larin, David.
Bench: St. Clair, Pantemis, Cornelius, Waterman, Piette, Fraser, Hoilett, Kaye, Kone, Osorio, Millar, Wotherspoon, Cavallini, Ugbo.
BEL vs CAN: Dream11 Predictions:
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