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Belgium vs Panama team news: Hazard, Lukaku & De Bruyne all start

9:59 PM MYT 18/06/2018
Romelu LukakuBelgium
The Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City stars are all included in Roberto Martinez's XI against the World Cup debutants

Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku and Kevin De Bruyne all start for Belgium against Panama on Monday.

Roberto Martinez has a massive amount of talent at his disposal, and has selected Lukaku to lead the line against the World Cup debutants.

Hazard plays on the left flank of a forward three, with Dries Mertens on the right. De Bruyne partners Axel Witsel in central midfield.

While Martinez has confirmed that Vincent Kompany will remain with the squad in Russia despite being ruled out through injury, he has chosen Celtic's Dedryck Boyata as his replacement, the 27-year-old winning his eighth cap.

He will be ably supported in defence by Tottenham duo Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen, with Thibaut Courtois in goal. Thomas Meunier and Yannick Carrasco play at right wing-back and left wing-back respectively.

Panama, meanwhile, are massive underdogs against the Red Devils, who are widely regarded as a potential dark horse in the competition, given the sheer amount of talent within their ranks.

Coach Hernan Dario Gomez is under no illusions as to how tough the game will be, having claimed earlier this week that Belgium boast more talent than Lionel Messi's Argentina.

Indeed, he was asked if he would take heart from Iceland's heroic 1-1 draw with Jorge Sampaoli's men, replying: "I must say Argentina aren't up there with the same quality as Belgium.

"Argentina and Iceland don't have a great distance but there's a greater distance between us and Belgium. We are not the favourites but who knows."