Eden Hazard is only on the bench for Belgium, though that isn’t a huge surprise given the season he’s had. His brother Thorgan starts at left wing-back, and Kevin De Bruyne misses out as expected. Only four of tonight’s team started the World Cup semi-final defeat to France in 2018: Thibaut Courtois, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen and Romelu Lukaku.

Five of the Russia team started their quarter-final defeat to Croatia three years ago: Mario Fernandes, Roman Zobnin, Daler Kuzyaev, Aleksandra Golovin and the captain Artem Dzyuba. There’s also a place for Chelsea alumnus Yuri Zhirkov, 37, who was part of the marvellous team that reached the semi-finals of Euro 2008.

Belgium (3-4-2-1) Courtois; Alderweireld, Boyata, Vertonghen; Castagne, Dendoncker, Tielemans, T Hazard; Mertens, Carrasco, Lukaku.
Substitutes: Mignolet, Sels, Vermaelen, E Hazard, Meunier, Denayer, Benteke, Chadli, Batshuayi, Trossard, Doku, Praet.

Russia (possible 4-2-3-1) Shunin; Mario Fernandes, Semenov, Dzhikiya, Zhirkov; Ozdoev, Barinov; Zobnin, Golovin, Kuzyaev; Dzyuba.
Substitutes: Dyupin, Safonov, Diveev, Karavaev, Cheryshev, Sobolev, Zabolotny, Aleksei Miranchuk, Zhemaletdinov, Ionov, Evgenyev, Mukhin.

Referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz (Spain).



The Guardian

By EDITOR

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