Belgium starts without its stars, De Bruyne and Hazard

06/11/2021 at 9:00 PM CEST


Without De Bruyne neither Hazard. It is not Belgium’s dream debut at the European Championship. The “Red Devils & rdquor; They are one of the great favorites to victory, but they start the tournament against Russia with many doubts in the starting eleven. “You can’t win a tournament with eleven players & rdquor ;, commented the Spaniard Roberto Martinez, Belgian coach.

To bad weather, good face. De Bruyne He has not yet recovered from the blow to his face he received in the Champions League final against Chelsea. He did not play either of the two friendlies, although Martinez He pointed out that he shouldn’t need a mask.

According to the press, the player recognized the king Felipe from Belgium, who visited the concentration a few days ago, which is preparing for the second game, since, although he feels much better, he still feels pain in the affected area.

The loss of the Manchester City midfielder is added by Eden Hazard. The madridista did play ten minutes in the friendly with Croatia, but everything indicates that he will not start either. Hazard He started against Osasuna and Chelsea at the beginning of May, but since then he has not played for more than half an hour, either with the white jersey or with the national jersey. Martinez he will reserve it for rivals of greater substance. The same player acknowledged the day before that he is not “one hundred percent & rdquor; and that the doctors will have the last word.

Nor does it seem that it will be from the game Witsel (Borussia Dortmund), a key player for the Spaniard in midfield, as he has not yet fully recovered from the ruptured Achilles tendon he suffered in January.

Martinez he will hide his cards until the last moment. In fact, the Belgian team arrived in St. Petersburg at lunchtime and will hold a single afternoon training session at the ancient Petrovski Stadium, the former home of Zenit.

Are fixed Courtois in goal; Toby Alderwireld, Jason denayer Y Jan Vertonghen in the center of defense; Tielemans Y Dendoncker in the middle of the field; Y Romelu lukaku in the front.

The main candidates to fill the other three positions are Meunier on the right side, though Castagne hot on his heels; Chadli on the left, although the brother of Hazard, Thorgan, he played better against the Croats.

As for the two companions of Lukaku, almost certainly will be . Yanick Carrasco, who is in great shape, and the Neapolitan veteran Dries Mertens. Named best player in series A, all hopes are pinned on Lukaku, the one in charge of the golden generation of Belgian football starting off on the right foot the search for the long-awaited title that has not just arrived.

As for Russia, the question is whether the Russian coach, Stanislav Cherchesov, will choose to “put the bus & rdquor; or to press the exit of the ball of the Belgians. Some Russian analysts have warned him that playing the Belgians face to face can have catastrophic consequences for the local team. Belgium defeated the Russians with clear superiority in the last two games (3-1 and 1-4), so Cherchesov I should have learned my lesson.

The third central injury, Fyodor Kudriashov, has disrupted the plans. But the positive for coronavirus of the forward Andréi Mostovoi, announced on Friday, allowed him to summon another defense, Roman Yevgenev, from Dinamo Moscow.

He could choose, as he did with the Bulgarians in the last game, to place the lung of Lokomotiv, Dmitry Barinov, in front of the defense, and two long sides, like the right-hander Mario Fernandes, who seems recovered from his discomfort, and the veteran Zhirkov or the young man Kuzyaev to the left.

Russia had a very good run since reaching the quarter-finals in the last World Cup after eliminating Spain in the penalty shoot-out. But for a year the level has dropped significantly.

Playing at home in a stadium with a capacity for 30,000 spectators is an advantage, but you must propose and not only defend yourself, taking into account that the defense and the goalkeeper, Shunin, raise many doubts.

Responsibility in attack will rest with the Siberian Alexandr Golovín (Monaco) and, if he starts, also the fine left-hander of Atalanta, Alexei Miranchuk. The Valencianist Chéryshev doesn’t seem to have options to exit startup, though Cherchesov I could turn to him as a revulsive.

But the leader of the team and through whom all goal plays pass is the gigantón Artiom Dzyuba. How far the Russians will go in the Eurocup will depend a lot on the performance of the top scorer in the Russian league.

– Probable lineups:

Belgium: Courtois; Alderweireld, Denayer, Vertonghen; Meunier, Tielemans, Dendoncker, T. Hazard; Mertens, Carrasco and Lukaku.

Russia: Shunin; Mario Fernandes, Sémenov, Dzhikiya, Kuzyáev or Zhirkov; Barinov, Ozdóev, Zobnin; Golovín, Iónov or Miranchuk; and Dzyuba.

Referee: Antonio Mateu Lahoz (ESP)

Stadium: Krestovski (30,000 spectators, half capacity).

Time: 9:00 p.m.

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