Wednesday, August 14, 2013
Belgium vs France
Belgium will attempt to further enhance their glowing reputation when they welcome France for an international friendly on Wednesday.
Marc Wilmots has led his side to the top of Group A in qualification for next summer's World Cup, with six wins from seven games leaving them three points clear of second-place Croatia.
They have also won their last six matches in all competitions, with their last defeat coming against Romania in a friendly last November.
France have struggled since the turn of the year, with just one win from their last five matches, while they have failed to find the back of the net in their last three games in all competitions.
However, they are well-placed to book a spot at next summer's World Cup, with the former world champions second in Group I, just one point behind leaders Spain after five matches.
Tottenham Hotspur defender Jan Vertonghen is expected to miss out for the home side, with Guillaume Gillet lining up in defence alongside Daniel van Buyten, Vincent Kompany and Toby Alderweireld.
Belgium also have a host of talent in midfield, but Marouane Fellaini is expected to drop into a deeper position with Mousa Dembele and Kevin de Bruyne. Meanwhile, Christian Benteke and Romelu Lukaku should also both start in attack.
France, meanwhile, could hand a first full cap to Sevilla midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia, who has been linked with a number of European clubs this summer.
Patrice Evra, Gael Clichy and the returning Eric Abidal will battle for the left-back position, but Franck Ribery is expected to start in attack alongside Karim Benzema and Olivier Giroud.
Belgium: Courtois; Alderweireld, Kompany, Van Buyton, Gillet; Dembele, Fellaini, De Bruyne; Hazard, Lukaku, Benteke
France: Lloris; Sagna, Koscielny, Mangala, Evra; Kondogbia, Capoue, Nasri; Ribery, Benzema, Giroud