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Belgium’s squad depth should scare rivals as second-string side thumps Belarus 8-0

Belgium thrashed Belarus 8-0 in the World Cup qualifiers
Belgium thrashed Belarus 8-0 in the World Cup qualifiers
ANALYST
Modified 31 Mar 2021
Feature

The Euros are just around the corner and some teams seem to be using the World Cup qualifiers as a warm-up to the Mundial. One of those is Belgium, who are virtually sweeping aside their opponents.

The Red Devils started their World Cup qualifiers with an impressive 3-1 win against Wales. But they were handed a reality check when the Czech Republic held them to a 1-1 draw in their next game.

However, Belgium bounced back superbly by recording a big win over Belarus on Tuesday. Roberto Martinez named a much-changed line-up, but they were still too strong for their opponents.

Belgium completely dominated Belarus, coasting to an easy win. Their latest win has sent them to the top of Group E.

Red Devils rout Belarus with fringe players

Belarus came into the game in high spirits, having beaten Estonia 4-2 some days earlier. However, the gap in quality between them and Belgium was too wide.

This was a non-contest right from the first blast of the referee's whistle. Despite naming a host of fringe players in the starting line-up, Martinez’s side still managed to put eight goals past Belarus.

Michy Batshuayi, Jeremy Doku, Dennis Praet and Christian Benteke were all on the scoresheet, while Hans Vanaken and Leandro Trossard scored two apiece.

The scoreline could have been even bigger had Belgium been more clinical. The Red Devils had 15 shots on target but only eight of them found the back of the net.

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Belgium’s squad depth looks scary

Belgium did not have to break a sweat when they played against Belarus. This was despite playing their fringe players.

The likes of Romelu Lukaku, Kevin De Brunye, Youri Tielemans, Dries Mertens and Timothy Castagne were all left on the bench. That none of these players started and yet Belgium still put out a formidable line-up speaks volumes about their quality and squad depth.

"The information of this camp will be essential for the final list for the Euros. Everything is taken into consideration,” Martinez said after the game, as quoted by Besoccer.
"When you go to tournament football, it's very, very different. We think that tournament football, you've got two tournaments in one tournament. First you've got the group phase, the three games, and then the knockout."
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"We need to have players for both tournaments. It's a mixture. I'm willing to do it like we did in the World Cup 2018, making sure we take every individual to fit a good balance in the squad and pick the best members for the best squad possible."

Belgium’s squad depth looks scary at the moment and barring any injuries, their rivals must be wary ahead of the Euros.

Published 31 Mar 2021, 22:19 IST
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