MX23RW : Wednesday, June 23 17:12:41| >> :120:26734:26734:
Jun 12, 2021 at 8pm UK at Saint-Petersburg Stadium
Lukaku (10', 88'), Meunier (34')
FT(HT: 2-0)

How Belgium could line up against Russia

How Belgium could line up against Russia
© Reuters
Sports Mole takes an in-depth look at how Belgium could line up for their Euro 2020 opener with Russia on Saturday.

Belgium's talismanic playmaker Kevin De Bruyne will not be fit for their opening clash of Euro 2020 with Russia on Saturday night.

The Manchester City man suffered two facial fractures in the Champions League final and was forced to undergo surgery, which led to manager Roberto Martinez effectively ruling him out of the opening encounter, and he has not travelled with the team to St Petersburg.

The Red Devils have no fresh concerns for this clash, but caution will continue to be observed over the injury-plagued Eden Hazard, while Axel Witsel is still working his way back to fitness after a long-term Achilles issue and is definitely out.

A familiar back four will see Thibaut Courtois reprise his regular role in goal, and with Dedryck Boyata not at full fitness, the three-man defence should see Toby Alderweireld, Jason Denayer and Jan Vertonghen feature from the first whistle.

Timothy Castagne and Thomas Meunier are in competition to start on the right, but with the former's Leicester City teammate Youri Tielemans surely in line to start, Castagne will hope to link up with his fellow Fox on Saturday.

Another Premier League lynchpin in Leander Dendoncker ought to partner Tielemans in midfield, while La Liga title winner Yannick Carrasco should be given the nod as a left wing-back.

Thorgan Hazard should provide some more attacking impetus from the wide areas while his brother Eden warms the bench, and the final two spots in Martinez's attack should be occupied by Dries Mertens and Romelu Lukaku - the latter of whom now boasts 60 goals for the national team.

Belgium possible starting lineup: Courtois; Alderweireld, Denayer, Vertonghen; Castagne, Tielemans, Dendoncker, Carrasco; Mertens, Hazard; Lukaku

> Click here to see how Russia could line up for this clash

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