Hans Vanaken gets his chance at the Red Devils: Club Brugge player in the base against Italy


National coach Roberto Martinez drops Hans Vanaken in the base for the consolation final of the Nations League against Italy.

Vincent Van Genechten

A match for third place in the Nations League does not immediately make your mouth water. With the exception of a slightly higher premium for the number three and much-needed points for the FIFA ranking, there is not much at stake in Turin on Sunday afternoon in a duel between two countries, each in their own way expected much more from this tournament.

The focus was therefore immediately shifted to the preparation for the World Cup, with the match against Italy as the first test. Romelu Lukaku and Eden Hazard returned to Belgium with an overload and the national coach was forced to make changes in his starting eleven. Swapping for swapping is not a good idea for Martinez. A lot of trusted names will therefore be at the kick-off.

Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois therefore gets the usual three-man defense with Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen and Jason Denayer. The latter did very well against France. In midfield Alexis Saelemaekers gets his chance on the right wingback, while Timothy Castagne moves to the left and Michy Batshuayi replaces Romelu Lukaku up front. Hans Vanaken replaces Eden Hazard in the starting eleven.

The Belgian eleven: Courtois; Alderweireld – Denayer – Vertonghen; Saelemaekers – Witsel – Tielemans – Castagne; Vanaken – Carrasco; Batshuayi

The Italian Eleven: Donnarumma; Di Lorenzo – Acerbi – Sticks – Emerson; Locatelli – Pellegrini – Stretcher; Church – Raspadori – Berardi


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