Tonight Croatia visit Cardiff and all Belgians will be hoping that Gareth Bale can be at his best. A win for Wales would really shake up the table, but the odds must be against. In Brussels, a full house (47,000) will watch Belgium in the return against Macedonia.
Belgium’s performance was – in the eye of many, including my postman – not impressive. Since then, Marc Wilmots has said he wants the ball to be circulated quicker in midfield and most observers see that as a message that Everton’s Marouane Fellaini will be on the bench and replaced in midfield by Werder Bremen and Chelsea’s Kevin De Bruyne. That’s the best solution in my eyes.That would leave a place on the flank for one of the trio of Everton’s Kevin Mirallas, Twente’s Nacer Chadli and PSV’s Dries Mertens. Wilmots has a high regard for Chadli but the favourite is Mirallas. Whoever starts, Wilmots will make full use of substitutes.
It seems certain that
Vincent Kompanywill return to defence and that will be a sign that Wilmots is not too concerned about the feelings of the Premier League clubs. Christian Benteke will get another chance to shine tonight at the expense of Romelu Lukaku. Macedonia will be without Muhamed Demiri and Boban Grncarov, both suspended. The latter had quite a bit of experience in the Jupiler Pro league and was impressive last Friday.
I’ve looked at the Belgium squad here, written ahead of the game in Skopje. Tonight should see three more points for Belgium.
Courtois, Alderweireld, Kompany, Vermaelen, Vertonghen; Witsel; Dembele, De Bruyne; Mirallas, Benteke, Hazard
Belgium 13, Croatia 13, Wales 6, Serbia 4, Macedonia 4, Scotland 2