MX23RW : Thursday, November 15 02:44:48

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 City1210203653132
2Liverpool129302351830
3Chelsea128402781928
4Tottenham HotspurSpurs1290320101027
5Arsenal1273226151124
6Bournemouth126242116520
7Watford126241714320
8Manchester UnitedMan Utd126242021-120
9Everton125431915419
10Leicester CityLeicester125251716117
11Wolverhampton WanderersWolves124441213-116
12Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton124261318-514
13West Ham UnitedWest Ham123361418-412
14Newcastle UnitedNewcastle12237915-69
15Burnley122371225-139
16Crystal Palace12228817-98
17Southampton12156821-138
18Cardiff CityCardiff122281125-148
19Huddersfield TownHuddersfield12147622-167
20Fulham121291131-205

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