BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil, June 17 (Reuters) - Striker Romelu Lukaku has shrugged off a bruised ankle to lead Belgium’s attack in the opening Group H game against Algeria at Belo Horizonte’s Mineirao stadium on Tuesday.
Lukaku, 21, is Belgium’s main hope for goals given the absence of injured Christian Benteke. Belgium coach Marc Wilmots plumped for the experienced Daniel van Buyten, the only member of his squad with past World Cup experience, instead of Thomas Vermaelen in defence.
Algeria coach Vahid Halilhodzic surprisingly dropped key striker Islam Slimani, 25, starting instead with El Arabi Soudani to spearhead the attack for Africa’s highest-ranked team. (Additional reporting by Karolos Grohmann, Editing by Nigel Hunt)