Published: Thu, June 28, 2018
Sport | By Ashley Hunter

Five-goal Belgium say stand by for more

Five-goal Belgium say stand by for more

Lukaku has announced his arrival at the competition by firing in four goals in Belgium's first two games against Panama and Tunisia, meaning he leads the scoring charts with a certain Cristiano Ronaldo.

"If we could have seven days to prepare (for) the game and then have another seven days until the next game, I would say let's carry on with the same starting 11", Martinez said.

He said: "If we want to go far in this World Cup, we will need every player".

"I know Rom well, I spent the biggest amount in Everton's history on a player because of the quality of his finishing, not because he was a player that could contribute things other than scoring goals", he said.

Eden Hazard and Dries Mertens both also suffered minor issues in the Tunisia game and their participation against England could be limited as a precaution, even if there are no major concerns.

With both teams already certain of qualification, the only issue to be settled is who, when and where they play in the next round, with Group G's victor meeting Group H's runner-up in Rostov on July 2 and the Group G's second-placed team playing Group H's top team in Moscow a day later. "On top, you have the talent and the quality, but since we came together, it's been a joy to see a group of players working so hard".

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Belgium are likely to rest midfield maestro Kevin De Bruyne and possibly striker Romelu Lukaku for their last World Cup group match against England, coach Roberto Martinez said on Monday.

"We want to stay calm, we want to improve our game and improve as a team", he said.

With Manchester City defender Vincent Kompany missing the opening two games because of injury, Hazard has also shown leadership, telling Lukaku off at half-time of the Panama game for "hiding" and "going missing".

"As a kid I never thought I could get a chance to play for England, never mind score".

Lukaku's performance vs Tunisia however caught the eye of many for more than one reason.

Maintaining a winning momentum can be precious at the World Cup, the counter-argument that needs to be carefully considered by Martinez and England coach Gareth Southgate as they try to strike a balance. "When you want to be the best you have to learn from the best".

Lukaku, who scored twice but went off on the hour after picking up an ankle, will be assessed on Sunday.

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