Tomorrow, Roberto Martinez will announce his squad to play Gibraltar (h) and Greece (a). The focus is likely to be on whether he’ll call up Eden Hazard who is just returning to fitness after injury but has not yet played this season. My feeling is that Martinez will not be calling up that particular Hazard.
There are unlikely to be surprises despite Martinez telling the Belgian press that he was selecting from a pool of 57 players. La Dernière Heure went along with his thinking by naming the possible 57 varieties.
Due to injuries and lack of playing time there is a distinct lack of reserve cover in defence – not for the first time – while Martinez could play Kevin De Bruyne in the front three in the main match in Greece and bring in – the joker in the pack – Marouane Fellaini. That would be at the likely expense of Radja Nainggolan or Yannick Carrasco.
To cover defence, Leander Dendoncker could move into a back four or three, as could Meunier at a pinch. Both Jason Denayer and Christian Kabasele lack game time. It’s hard to call a squad of 26 but I will have a go.
Likely Squad (26)
Keepers: Thibaut Courtois, Simon Mignolet, Matz Sels, Koen Casteels
Defenders: Jan Vertonghen, Toby Alderweireld, Laurent Ciman, Vincent Kompany, Jordan Lukaku.
Midfield: Axel Witsel, Moussa Dembélé, Marouane Fellaini, Radja Nainggolan, Thorgan Hazard, Thomas Meunier, Nacer Chadli, Kevin De Bruyne, Youri Tielemans, Leander Dendoncker, Yannick Carrasco.
Forwards: Kevin Mirallas, Dries Mertens, Christian Benteke, Romelu Lukaku, Divock Origi, Michy Batshuayi.
Christian Kabasele, Jason Denayer, Bjorn Engels, Steven Defour, Charly Musonda, Landry Dimata.
Thomas Vermaelen, Dedryck Boyota, Thomas Foket, Eden Hazard.