Belgium suffer Kompany blow in draw with Portugal

Belgium have announced their final 23-man squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, with a Premier League star and four other players being cut from their provisional selection.

Kompany has been included but his participation in the tournament is still in doubt, with Martinez confirming he will wait until the last possible moment before deciding whether or not to replace the 32-year-old with Laurent Ciman, who is on standby. He's a leader, he's been working extremely hard in camp, he performed in a fantastic manner while on the pitch against Portugal.

The injury was the key talking point after Belgium's 0-0 draw with Portugal as both sides showed attacking intent but no killer blow less than two weeks before the World Cup begins.

"Until 24 hours before the Panama game we can still make a replacement". It's essential for us to give him every opportunity.

"The Red Devil's" open their World Cup campaign on June 18th against Panama, before facing Tunisia then England.

Benteke misses out after a disappointing season for Palace, with Martinez adding: "Christian Benteke has been the toughest decision, but it is for the balance of the squad".

Manchester United man Romelu Lukaku is expected to lead the line, while Chelsea's Batshuayi will offer stiff competition for a starting spot after recovering from an ankle problem.

Goalkeepers: Thibaut Courtois (Chelsea), Simon Mignolet (Liverpool), Koen Casteels (VfL Wolfsburg).

As such, the quintet to be trimmed from Roberto Martinez's 28-man provisional corral are Benteke, goalkeeper Matz Sels and defenders Christian Kabasele, Jordan Lukaku and Laurent Ciman - the latter of whom has been placed on stand-by.

  • Rosalie Stanley