What does one make of the Belgium side that will turn out for Euro 2016? A wealth of options in all areas of the pitch, the Red Devils believe that their ‘Golden Generation’ of players will come on to achieve big things in the years to come. If one thought they had a colossal side during World Cup 2014, the side for this tournament has more strength in depth. Marc Wilmots has the challenge that all managers had to find a solution for: To pick the best team and the right system. Euro 2016: Complete Fixtures and Time Table
It is clear that 4-3-3 is Belgium’s best formation. The catch-22 for Wilmots is to find the right position to slot the irresistible Kevin de Bruyne, who was terrific during the close season at Manchester City. There is another, at the middle of the park; who does he leave out? It is certain that Eden Hazard will take his place on the left, after a wretched season with Cheslsea. There are as many as eight forwards.
Yet again, Belgium are deprived of Vincent Kompany’s services. The skipper was recently hampered with his 33rd injury during his tenure with Manchester City. This is where Wilmots earns his money as a manager. The group they find themselves in is the toughest group of the competition and the smallest of margins could go on to make a difference.
Prediction: Belgium are helped by having an Italian side not really setting the world on fire. They are expected to stumble their way through to then next round.
Goalkeepers: Thibaut Courtois (Chelsea), Jean-Francois Gillet (Mechelen), Simon Mignolet (Liverpool).
Defenders: Toby Alderweireld (Tottenham), Laurent Ciman (Montreal Impact), Jason Denayer (Galatasaray), Christian Kabasele (Genk), Jordan Lukaku (Ostend), Thomas Meunier (Club Bruges), Thomas Vermaelen (Barcelona), Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham).
Midfielders: Mousa Dembele (Tottenham), Marouane Fellaini (Manchester Utd), Radja Nainggolan (Roma), Axel Witsel (Zenit St Petersburg).
Forwards: Michy Batshuayi (Marseille), Christian Benteke (Liverpool), Yannick Carrasco (Atletico Madrid), Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City), Eden Hazard (Chelsea), Romelu Lukaku (Everton), Dries Mertens (Napoli), Divock Origi (Liverpool).