After the weekend madness, in which Georges Leekens left the managerial post for Club Brugge and gave the Belgian FA a mighty headache, Marc Wilmots has selected the squad for the Montenegro and England friendlies.
The assistant manager will step up to the role, in a strangely similar way to Stuart Pearce did for England this year, for these two fixtures and could be appointed on a permanent basis.
The team selection isn’t exactly surprising but once again, Belgium’s obvious lack of full-backs is apparent. Here is the squad list.
|Goalkeepers||Thibaut Courtois||Atletico Madrid (Spa)|
|Jean-Francois Gillet||Bologna (Italy)|
|Simon Mignolet||Sunderland (Eng)|
|Defence||Toby Alderweireld||Ajax (Ned)|
|Vincent Kompany||Manchester City (Eng)|
|Nicolas Lombaerts||Zenit (Russia)|
|Daniel Van Buyten||Bayern Munich (Ger)|
|Thomas Vermaelen||Arsenal (Eng)|
|Jan Vertonghen||Ajax (Ned)|
|Midfield||Nacer Chadli||Twente (Ned)|
|Steven Defour||Porto (Por)|
|Moussa Dembele||Fulham (Eng)|
|Marouane Fellaini||Everton (Eng)|
|Eden Hazard||Lille (Fra)|
|Dries Mertens||PSV Eindhoven (Ned)|
|Radja Nainggolan||Cagliari (Italy)|
|Timmy Simons||Nuremberg (Ger)|
|Axel Witsel||Benfica (Por)|
|Attack||Christian Benteke||Racing Genk|
|Igor De Camargo||Mönchengladbach (Germany)|
|Benjamin De Ceulaer||Lokeren|
|Romelu Lukaku||Chelsea (Eng)|
|Kevin Mirallas||Olympiakos (Gre)|
|Jelle Vossen||Racing Genk|
All in all, a very strong lineup bar the aforementioned defensive issues. I’d expect Wilmots to go experimental vs Montenegro (mainly giving strikers a chance) before playing the strongest lineup possible against England
The team I’d play against England – Courtois, Alderweireld, Kompany, Vermaelen, Lombaerts/Vertonghen, Fellaini, Witsel, Defour, Dembele, Hazard, Vossen/Benteke.
I’d really like see Mirallas and Benteke given a shot – both playing very well at the moment. Denis Odoi is a surprise slightly, but he played well filling in for Wasilewski at Anderlecht and really is the only right-back available.
Laurent Ciman, Maarten Martens and Kevin De Bruyne all drop out from the Greece selection due to injuries. But that’s an exceptional squad – especially in midfield, a wonderful headache to have. Will Wilmots be given the job full-time after these games? If he gets the team performing well, then why not…
Tagged Alderweireld, Belgium, Courtois, Defour, Dembele, England, Fellaini, football, Hazard, international, kompany, Lombaerts/Vertonghen, Marc Wilmots, Roy Hodgson, Vermaelen, Vossen/Benteke., Witsel