Everyone is talking about Belgium and it seems fair considering the fact that they are coming back on the World Cup stage after 12 years. After topping their group in the qualifying stages Belgium looks a strong contender to go a long way in the tournament.
Filled with a host of exciting players, Belgium would be eager to make their return to the biggest stage a special one. Their greatest asset is having depth in the squad and they do have the players to bring the crowds to their feet with attacking football.
The back-wall looks solid with defenders Vincent Kompany, Thomas Vermaelen, Daniel Van Buyten and Toby Alderweireld. Marouane Fellaini can play as a defender or a defensive midfielder owing to his size and his ability when the ball is in the air. There is pace on either flanks in Nacer Chadli and Adnan Januzaj. The 19 year old Januzaj has gained the attention of the football world after his superb debut for Manchester United where he scored a brace. He chose to play for his birth home Belgium after given options between England, Albania and Kosovo.
Kevin Mirallas and Moussa Dembélé are innovative in the midfield and the onus will be on them to feed balls the players upfront. Belgium’s offence is threatening with Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku both loving to attack on the counter and are more than capable of finding the back of the net. Hazard who was Chelsea’s the player of the year is in great form scoring a fantastic solo goal against Sweden in their warm up match. Lukaku who scored 15 goals for Everton last season was also on the score sheet in Belgium’s penultimate warm up match.
With both of them striking form just at the right time is great news for Belgium and their fans. Drawn in one of the easier groups, Group H with Russia, Algeria and South Korea, entering the second round should not be a difficult task for them. The biggest worry for coach Marc Wilmots and probably Belgium’s biggest weakness is that none of the players have ever played in a World Cup before, that means no experience at this level which might put players under immense pressure.
There is too much hype already about the Belgians and the coach would be careful not to let pressure mount on his players, who are being tagged as the “Dark Horses” of the tournament.