Belgium Euro 2024 squad, predicted line-up versus Slovakia, latest odds and star players

6 days ago 10

ROMELU LUKAKU rewrote history during a successful and dramatic qualifying campaign to underline his sublime skill and erratic nature.

The Chelsea striker scored a record 14 goals as Belgium topped Group F.

Lukaku has spent the season on loan at Roma from the Blues and doesn’t want to go back even though the club could really use his evident finishing prowess.

This summer’s tournament should also witness the emergence of Jeremy Doku as a force on the international stage.

The Manchester City winger, 21, went to the World Cup in 2022 – but 18 months on is a more mature player ready to step into the shoes of retired legend Eden Hazard.

Doku has made his presence felt in his debut season with the defending Premier League champions.

Belgium are always there or thereabouts at big tournaments and one of the fancied teams.

Their qualifying process was marred by tragedy though when the home game against Sweden in Brussels was abandoned with the score at 1-1 after a terrorist attack left Swedes dead.

Uefa ruled that the score would stand as final.

The squad is peppered with Premier League players from Leandro Trossard of Arsenal, Everton’s Amadou Onana, Aston Villa’s Youri Tielemans and City hero Kevin De Bruyne.

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Manager: Domenico Tedesco

Guided Schalke to the Champions League in 2018 but then ran into Man City and a 7-0 defeat ended with the sack.

Italian also led RB Leipzig to a domestic cup triumph and the Europa League semi-finals in 2022.

Key man: Jeremy Doku

Doku does not always figure for Manchester City but is expected to steadily make more of an impact.

A young player with obvious class, he could shine in Germany.

Likely line-up

The Belgians boast a world class attack, with Doku, De Bruyne and Trossard supporting Lukaku.

But the defence is less star-studded, with the likes of 37-year-old former Spurs star Jan Vertonghen and Leicester’s Wout Faes, who has been playing against Championship forwards all season.

Belgium’s strength is clearly in attack

How they attack

For the first international tournament in some time Belgium will not be surrounded by talk of the promise of their golden generation.

While the likes of Vertonghen, De Bruyne and Lukaku are still around the squad their game time could be limited as younger players look to take their positions.

Belgium have also changed coach with Roberto Martinez, who has moved on to Portugal.

In attack, they push the opposition back into deeper positions by committing players high and into advanced positions.

Belgium have committed five players ahead of the ball and they’re spread across the pitch to create space and stretch defences

Belgium like to attack centrally and break lines through the middle of the pitch.

Tedesco likes his teams to have control of the ball before they move into the final third.

Before they then look to play quickly into the wide areas where they try to have players isolated in space.

Against England, they have flooded the middle but are happy to go wide

As Tedesco favours control his defenders and midfielders interplay.

They use either a 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 and the central defenders are comfortable in possession.

The midfielders ahead of the ball are crucial in deeper positions when it comes to rotating back to find space to receive passes from deep.

As the left-sided central defender in possession, the midfielders move back to receive the pass and break the opposition pressure

How they defend

As the opposition are building their attack from deep, Belgium look play in a structured 4-3-3 shape in a medium block.

They will not typically be overly aggressive in terms of jumping high and looking to regain possession.

As Serbia build an attack, Lukaku engages and the rest cut off the centre of the pitch

As the opposition break into the Belgium half, they drop into a block and force the opposition to play wide.

England cross the halfway line and the Belgians are positioned in a tight block to force play wide

As the opposition enter the final third, Belgium move deep – again their focus and intent is to force the opposition to attack down the outside.

Essentially, the Belgians back themselves to be able to defend crosses from the wide areas.

Belgium force the ball wide again and back themselves to cope with crosses

Prediction

Belgium have a strong side and have the benefit of a good draw.

They should top their group ahead of Romania, Ukraine and Slovakia comfortably before one of best third-placed sides await in the last-16.

Belgium should make the quarter-final at minimum.

Latest odds

William Hill have them as 20/1 to win the tournament.

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Wags and glam fans

Gorgeous Israeli model Mishel Gerzig and ex-Chelsea keeper Thibaut Courtois said their I do’s last summer.

They launched their own business together, a VIP sports concierge service called Be The One.

Mishel gave birth to their first child in March.

Gorgeous Noemie Happart is a former Miss Belgium, who speaks four languages.

The model reportedly met Yannick Carrasco at a bar and she didn’t know he was a footballer.

Deborah and Thomas Meunier met when they were in secondary school.

They have since built a life and family for themselves and have three kids together.

Jozefien Van de Velde is the girlfriend of Charles De Ketelaere.

She is originally from Gent, although she moved to Milan to join her beau when he signed for Serie A giants Inter in 2022.

Michelle De Bruyne got together with Kevin in 2014, after his ex-girlfriend allegedly had a secret fling with team-mate Courtois.

Laura Hilvern is the very supportive Wag of Arsenal star Leandro Trossard.

Instagram @mishelgerzig
Thibaut Courtois and Mishel Gerzig had a child together this year[/caption]
https://www.instagram.com/mishelgerzig/?hl=en
The stunning model regularly posts bikini snaps[/caption]
AFP
She is a regular at her hubby’s matches[/caption]
instagram/noemiehappart
Noemie Happart is married to Yannick Carrasco[/caption]
Getty
Thomas Meunier and Deborah Panzokou watched the French Open together[/caption]
INSTAGRAM
Jozefien Van de Velde and Charles De Ketelaere are an item[/caption]
INSTAGRAM
The beauty has a big following on social media[/caption]
Instagram
Michele De Bruyne is another Belgium fan[/caption]
PA
The family have enjoyed plenty of success[/caption]
Facebook - Leandro Trossard
Leandro Trossard is married to Laura Hilven[/caption]
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