A squad that is filled with a galaxy of stars, Belgium should contend for the World Cup in Russia. They have arguably the strongest squad in the tournament and an ever-smiling and relaxed manager in Roberto Martinez.
Belgium qualified for the World Cup scoring a record number of goals, 43, while conceding only six. Yet, defensive concerns remain and injuries—the very recent to Vincent Kompany—could lead to problems in Russia.
Here’s the strongest Belgium line-up manager Martinez could field in the World Cup.
Strongest Belgium XI for World Cup
Manager: Roberto Martinez
Thibaut Courtois (GK)
Belgium’s undisputed no.1 between the sticks, Courtois will continue protecting the goal for his nation in the World Cup.
Thomas Meunier (RWB)
Meunier is primarily an attacking right-back but he is also sound defensively. The PSG man ran riot in the qualifiers last year, scoring and assisting plenty of goals.
Toby Alderweireld (RCB)
One of the Premier League’s finest defenders, Alderweireld is a lynchpin in Belgium’s backline. Commanding in the air and capable of playing the ball from the back, the Spurs man’s form will be vital for the Red Devils in Russia.
Thomas Vermaelen (CB)
Vermaelen has been out since suffering a hamstring injury last month in La Liga.But he has every chance to prove his fitness before the World Cup and with Vincent Kompany also being doubtful; Martinez should start with the former Arsenal man as Alderweireld’s partner.
Jan Vertonghen (LCB)
A leader at the back, Vertonghen made history when he became the first player to win 100 caps for Belgium earlier in the month. The defender’s composure and experience will be of mighty importance in a three-man defence Martinez is likely to field in the World Cup.
Yannick Carrasco (LWB)
Carrasco may be an attacking threat but the left-wing-back is clearly not his position. He might struggle against elite oppositions in the World Cup.
Moussa Dembele (CM)
Energetic and aggressive, Dembele will add a lot of feistiness and thrust to the midfield.
Kevin de Bruyne (CM)
There are still no answers as to why De Bruyne has constantly failed to produce the goods for the national team. He is an all-action midfielder capable of doing almost anything on the pitch. The man from Manchester City needs to step up if the Red Devils are to taste success in Russia.
Eden Hazard (LW)
Martinez has appointed Hazard as Belgium’s skipper and the Chelsea playmaker has repaid the manager’s faith so far by constantly dishing out impressive performances. He is certain to be one of Belgium’s most important players in Russia.
Dries Mertens (RW)
Mertens can cause damage with his raw pace, trickery and ability to score goals from anywhere. His diminutive stature gives him the flexibility to twist and turn quickly and score goals.
Romelu Lukaku (ST)
Lukaku scored regularly throughout the qualifying stages and should lead Belgium’s attack in the World Cup.