The coach of Belgium, the Spaniard Roberto Martinez, summoned 31 players on Thursday, but not Kevin De Bruyne, injured, for the three qualifying matches for the World Cup-2022 in Estonia (September 2), against the Czech Republic ( September 5) and Belarus (September 8, in Kazan, Russia). Martinez has to deal with six absent including Kevin De Bruyne, still embarrassed by his ankle.

“He had played a few minutes against Tottenham with Manchester City, but he was still in pain after the game. He will not play this weekend and we will see how his injury unfolds. He is working hard to be ready for a season that will be very demanding , but it’s not 100% yet, ”Martinez explained. On his choice to call 31 players, Martinez explains that the period, with “a lot of matches” is “difficult for the organizations”.

“It is important to have a large and solid group because the matches will be linked,” said Martinez. “We will make some changes. Having a larger squad also brings competition and therefore a competitive spirit. It is important to prepare for the meetings to come.” Belgium, eliminated in the quarter-finals of the Euro by Italy (2-1) this summer, leads Group E with seven points from three matches, ahead of the Czech Republic (4 pts) and Wales (3 pts).

Defenders (7): Toby Alderweireld (Al-Duhail / QAT), Dedryck Boyata (Hertha Berlin / GER), Hannes Delcroix (Anderlecht), Jason Denayer (Lyon / FRA), Brandon Mechele (FC Bruges), Zinho Vanheusden (Genoa / ITA), Jan Vertonghen (Benfica / POR)

Lateral (6): Yannick Carrasco (Atlético Madrid / ESP), Timothy Castagne (Leicester / ENG), Thomas Foket (Reims / FRA), Thorgan Hazard (Dortmund / GER), Thomas Meunier (Dortmund / GER), Alexis Saelemaekers (AC Milan / ITA)

Midfielders (6): Leander Dendoncker (Wolverhampton / ENG), Albert Sambi Lokonga (Arsenal / ENG), Dennis Praet (Leicester / ENG), Youri Tielemans (Leicester / ENG), Hans Vanaken (Bruges FC), Axel Witsel (Dortmund / GER)

Forwards (8): Michy Batshuayi (Besiktas / TUR), Christian Benteke (Crystal Palace / ENG), Charles De Ketelaere (FC Bruges), Eden Hazard (Real Madrid / ESP), Romelu Lukaku (Chelsea / ENG), Dodi Lukebakio ( Hertha Berlin / GER), Leandro Trossard (Brighton / ENG), Yari Verschaeren (Anderlecht).

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