Belgium's De Bruyne set to miss 'celebration' England clash

Elena Summers
June 28, 2018

Tunisia hit back two minutes later with a Dylan Bronn header as Belgium's own sometimes shaky defending was exposed but another misplaced Tunisian pass enabled Thomas Meunier to feed his goal-hungry striker as Lukaku clipped in to make it 3-1 in stoppage time.

"If we could have seven days to prepare for that game and then another seven days before the following game then we would start with the same starting XI", said the former Wigan and Everton manager. "We want to be a group that cares about each other and find a way to feed all the exceptional individual talent we have", said Martinez, who has spoken of his admiration for how Belgium's cultural and linguistic diversity also creates adaptable players.

Belgium also suffered some other injuries, with Romelu Lukaku and Dries Mertens also suffering knocks that will be checked out before Belgium play England in a crucial game to potentially decide the winners of Group G in this tournament.

A polyglot known for waffles, chocolate and beer, the nation of 11 million hopes for soccer to join the national identity, boosted by a golden generation that includes Romelu Lukaku, Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bryune.

Ominously for England, Martinez said there is more to come from a Belgium team growing in confidence, but who are far from the finished article.

"I think the players know exactly what they have to do in order to try to help the team become a winning team, and that's the focus".


Belgium scored five goals in their win over Tunisia, but Steve Nicol says their issues at the back could prove costly in the World Cup.

"We can still do better", said the Manchester United forward, whose four goals in two games beat a previous Belgian record for scoring in a single World Cup finals and matches the current tournament leading scorer, Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo.

Kane, 24, scored 41 goals in 48 appearances in all competitions for Tottenham last season, whilst Lukaku, 25, bagged 27 goals in 51 outings for United. "The World Cup only respects winning teams", he said.

"As a kid I never thought I could get a chance to play for England, never mind score".

"The first game at any tournament is always a little tough and the heat also exhausted us out but after rest we'll be ready to roll again", Chelsea playmaker Hazard said in the build-up to the weekend's clash.

Speaking after Saturday's win over Tunisia, he told BBC One: "Lukaku is so confident right now". "Against England we still have to do better". "We have to wait for his ankle to be less swollen and keep our fingers crossed".

Other reports by

Discuss This Article

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER