August 30, 2019 / 11:54 AM / 3 months ago

Belgium wait on Hazard injury ahead of Euro qualifiers

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Belgium will decide next week whether Eden Hazard is fit enough to play in their Euro 2020 qualifiers away in San Marino and Scotland, coach Roberto Martinez said on Friday.

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Pre-season Friendly - AS Roma v Real Madrid - Stadio Olimpico, Rome, Italy - August 11, 2019 Real Madrid's Eden Hazard during the warm up before the match REUTERS/Alberto Lingria

Playmaker Hazard, who has been included in Martinez’s squad for the two games, has yet to make his La Liga debut for new club Real Madrid after suffering a thigh injury in training.

“We will assess him on Tuesday and every day after that will be important to see whether he can play. We only play Scotland on Sept. 9 and before that San Marino on Sept. 6, so we can make some adjustments,” Martinez told a news conference after naming his squad for the Group I matches.

“It would be good if he gets to play for Real this weekend.”

Martinez also included Chelsea striker Michy Batshuayi in the squad, despite him not playing for his club since returning from a loan spell at Crystal Palace.

“Michy has been in this situation before and we are judging him on what he has done in the national team and his numbers have been impressive,” the coach added.

“It’s true that in the next 10 months he needs to be playing football in order to carry on with the national team in the future but that’s a matter for further on down the line.”

With Vincent Kompany and Axel Witsel out through injury, Martinez included the uncapped Bundesliga-based Benito Raman and Anderlecht midfielder Yari Verschaeren for the first time.

Belgium have already won their opening four qualifiers and lead the group by three points from Russia.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Koen Casteels (VfL Wolfsburg), Thibaut Courtois (Real Madrid), Simon Mignolet (Club Bruges), Matz Sels (Racing Strasbourg)

Defenders: Toby Alderweireld (Tottenham Hotspur), Jason Denayer (Olympique Lyonnais), Leander Dendoncker (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Brandon Mechele (Club Bruges), Thomas Vermaelen (Vissel Kobe), Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham Hotspur)

Midfielders: Yannick Carrasco (Dalian Yifang), Nacer Chadli (Anderlecht), Thorgan Hazard (Borussia Dortmund), Thomas Meunier (Paris St Germain), Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City), Dennis Praet (Leicester City), Benito Raman (Schalke 04), Youri Tielemans (Leicester City), Eden Hazard (Real Madrid), Adnan Januzaj (Real Sociedad), Dries Mertens (Napoli), Leandro Trossard (Brighton and Hove Albion), Hans Vanaken (Club Bruges), Yari Verschaeren (Anderlecht)

Forwards: Michy Batshuayi (Chelsea), Christian Benteke (Crystal Palace), Romelu Lukaku (Inter Milan), Divock Origi (Liverpool).

Reporting by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Toby Davis

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