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BELGIUM

Roberto Martínez omits Hazard and Lukaku from Belgian squad

Belgium will face the Republic of Ireland and Burkina Faso in the forthcoming FIFA window with coach Martínez deciding to leave out some big name players.

Update:

Belgium have left out players with more than 50 caps for their friendlies against Ireland and Burkina Faso later this month, but added only one newcomer to their squad.

Coach Roberto Martinez on Friday named a 27-man squad for the friendlies in Dublin on March 26 and Brussels on March 29 with 23-year-old central defender Siebe Van der Heyden from surprise league leaders Union Saint Gilloise the only player not previously selected for the squad.

The decision to limit the selection means Toby Alderweireld, Yannick Carrasco, Thibaut Courtois, Kevin De Bruyne, Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku, Dries Mertens, Thomas Meunier, Jan Vertonghen and Axel Witsel all sit out.

Martinez is using the two matches to prepare for the World Cup in Qatar where top-ranked Belgium are expected to be among the contenders.

Youri Tielemans is the most experienced player selected with 47 caps while Jeremy Doku returns despite on-going injury concerns and Adnan Januzaj is recalled after more than a year out of the squad.

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