Predicted XI

Same again for the Red Devils? - How Belgium could line up against Denmark

Roberto Martinez's Belgium side need to avoid defeat against in-form Denmark to move into the Nations League Finals

1:16pm on Wednesday 18th November 2020
Robin Bairner

Belgium will reach their first Nations League Finals provided they do not suffer a shock home defeat against Denmark.

Roberto Martinez’s side are coming off a 2-0 victory over England and find themselves in the driving seat in Group A2. With the Three Lions five points off the pace, only their opponents on Wednesday can unseat them.

Belgium have been here before, though. Two years ago, when they faced Switzerland in similar circumstances, they raced into a two-goal lead only to suffer a stunning 5-2 reverse.

Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has said it was a lack of concentration that cost them on that occasion, and they will surely not err so readily against a Denmark side that has lost only once over 90 minutes in its last 40 matches, excluding a 3-0 loss to Slovakia in which an amateur team was fielded.

The Danes will, of course, approach this match at full throttle, and Belgium will have to meet them head on.

Eden Hazard is missing for the hosts after recently testing positive for Covid-19, while there are several other players, such as Yannick Carrasco and Timothy Castagne unavailable.

After an efficient performance against England, the only changes that would be expected to be made would be fatigue related. Roberto Martinez only used one substitute in the Sunday clash, but his starting XI is rather well defined given the players at his disposal.

In-form attacker Romelu Lukaku should lead the line supported by Dries Mertens and Kevin De Bruyne, while Youri Tielemans and Axel Witsel should anchor the midfield.

Jason Denayer is set to be the keystone of a defence that will protect Courtois’ goal.

Belgium squad:

Goalkeepers: Courtois (Real Madrid), Casteels (Wolfsburg), Coucke (Mechelen)

Defenders: Alderweireld (Tottenham), Denayer (Lyon), Mechele (Club Brugge), Vertonghen (Benfica), Meunier (Dortmund), Delcroix (Anderlecht), Boyata (Hertha), Dendoncker (Wolves), Foket (Reims)

Midfielders: Witsel (Dortmund), De Bruyne (Man City), Tielemans (Leicester), Hazard (Dortmund), Vanaken (Club Brugge), Praet (Leicester), Chadli (Istanbul Basaksehir), Kayembe (Charleroi)

Attackers: Lukaku (Inter), Lukebakio (Hertha), Mertens (Napoli), Verschaeren (Anderlecht), Benteke (Crystal Palace), Batshuayi (Crystal Palace), Doku (Rennes)

Predicted Belgium XI v Denmark

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