Finland - Belgium

Europe: European Championship
Finland
Saint Petersburg Stadium0-2Attendance: 18.545
Belgium L. Hradecky (74), R. Lukaku (81)
PreviewLineup

Witsel set for starting XI comeback, BVB teammate Thorgan Hazard sidelined again

By Peter Vice

While advancement to the Euro knockout stages isn't on the line for Roberto Martinez's Belgium in the final group stage game against Finland tomorrow, the world's #1 ranked footballing nation will still play to win.

The Nordic Eagle Owls can still theoretically overtake the Rode Duivels for first place in the group. Belgian news media sources report that the potential deployments of two Borussia Dortmund starters are essentially settled. 

Axel Witsel.
Axel Witsel.Photo: Светлана Бекетова/Soccer.ru/CC-by-SA 3.0

The BVB axial duo of Thorgan Hazard and Thomas Meunier will not be action when Euro 2020's Group B draws to a close on Monday. The Belgian F.A. confirmed on Sunday that Dortmund's Thorgan Hazard did not travel with the team to St. Petersburg for the final group-stage fixture. Hazard evidently sustained a knee knock in the squad's 2-1 victory over Denmark in Copenhagen on Thursday.


The severity ion the injury is not yet known. There is nevertheless much brighter news for both Belgium supporters and BVB fans. Schwarzgelben midfielder Axel Witsel is said to have now made a full recovery from the ACL tear that kept him out of Bundesliga action for five long months.

It surprised many to learn that the 32-year-old midfielder would join his national side at all this summer as his recovery timeframe was projected to stretch out into July. Witsel made a relief appearance against Denmark.

Belgium's Het Laatse Nieuws initially reported that he would start tomorrow. One of the country's top domestic football journalists, Kristoff Terreur, also confirmed this on twitter.

In terms of the third Dortmund player on the Belgian roster, it remains unclear as whether Meunier will start after what many perceived to be a significant form dip in the second match.

Central defender Dedryck Boyata of Hertha BSC remains day-to-day with his own injury issues.





Finland
(5-3-2)
1Lukáš Hradecky
22Jukka Raitala
4Joona Toivio
2Paulus Arajuuri
3Daniel O'Shaughnessy
18Jere Uronen ↩70
8Robin Lod ↩90
14Tim Sparv (C) ↩59
6Glen Kamara
10Teemu Pukki ↩90
20Joel Pohjanpalo ↩70
Bench
12Jesse Joronen
23Anssi Jaakkola
26Marcus Forss ↪90
5Leo Väisänen
17Nikolai Alho ↪70
25Robert Ivanov
7Robert Taylor
9Fredrik Jensen ↪90
11Rasmus Schüller ↪59
13Pyry Soiri
19Joni Kauko ↪70
24Onni Valakari
Belgium
(3-4-2-1)
1Thibaut Courtois
18Jason Denayer
4Dedryck Boyata
3Thomas Vermaelen
24Leandro Trossard ↩75
7Kevin De Bruyne ↩90
6Axel Witsel
22Nacer Chadli
25Jeremy Doku ↩76
10Eden Hazard (C)
9Romelu Lukaku ↩84
Bench
12Simon Mignolet
13Matz Sels
20Christian Benteke ↪84
23Michy Batshuayi ↪76
5Jan Vertonghen
15Thomas Meunier ↪75
8Youri Tielemans
11Yannick Carrasco
14Dries Mertens
17Hans Vanaken ↪90
19Leander Dendoncker
26Dennis Praet

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