MX23RW : Monday, February 18 19:21:36
Jun 18, 2018 at 4pm UK at ​Fisht Olympic Stadium
Attendance: 43,257
Belgium
3-0
PanamaPanama
Mertens (47'), Lukaku (69', 75')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Team News: Vincent Kompany sits out Belgium World Cup opener

Team News: Kompany sits out Belgium World Cup opener
© Reuters
Celtic's Dedryck Boyata replaces Vincent Kompany in the Belgium defence for their World Cup opener against Panama.

Manchester City defender Vincent Kompany has been benched for Belgium's World Cup opener against Panama.

Celtic's Dedryck Boyata will replace the Sky Blues captain in the Red Devils' backline while Kompany continues his return to fitness following a spell on the sidelines.

Manchester United's Romelu Lukaku will operate as a lone striker for Roberto Martinez's side, with Chelse's Eden Hazard and Napoli's Dries Mertens providing support from wide positions.

Kompany's City teammate Kevin De Bruyne starts in midfield as the playmaker in a 3-4-3 formation.

Meanwhile, Panama have taken a gamble on the fitness of centre-back Roman Torres and paired him up with Fidel Escobar at the back.

Veteran striker Blas Perez spearheads the Central America side's attack, playing off Edgar Yoel Barcenas and Jose Rodriquez.

Belgium: Courtois; Alderweireld, Boyata, Vertonghen; Meunier, De Bruyne, Witsel, Carrasco; Mertens, Lukaku, Hazard
Subs: Kompany, Fellaini, Mignolet, Casteels, Hazard, Tielemans, Januzaj, Dembele, Batshuayi, Chadli, Dendoncker

Panama: Penedo; Murillo, Escobar, Torres, Davis; Gomez, Godoy, Cooper, Rodriguez, Barcenas; Perez
Subs: Cummings, Torres, Diaz, Calderon, Machado, Pimentel, Arroyo, Ovalle, Tejada, Avila, A. Rodriguez, Baloy

Follow the match live with Sports Mole's text commentary here.

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Eden Hazard in action for Belgium on June 2, 2018
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City27212474205465
2Liverpool26205159154465
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs26200654252960
4Manchester UnitedMan Utd26156552351751
5Arsenal26155653371650
6Chelsea26155645291650
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2611693433139
8Watford2610793434037
9Everton2796123639-333
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham2696113239-733
11Bournemouth26103133747-1033
12Leicester CityLeicester2695123134-332
13Crystal Palace2676132734-727
14Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2676132839-1127
15Burnley2676132947-1827
16Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2667132234-1225
17Cardiff CityCardiff2674152447-2325
18Southampton2659122844-1624
19Fulham2645172558-3317
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2625191448-3411

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