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Eden Hazard dropped for Croatia vs Belgium, but De Bruyne and Vertonghen start

Eden Hazard is ABANDONED for Belgium’s decider against Croatia, though Jan Vertonghen and Kevin De Bruyne start while Roberto Martinez insists there are no cracks in the team… and Romelu Lukaku is on the bench again.

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Eden Hazard has been ruled out of Belgium’s decider against Croatia, although Roberto Martínez has opted to name both Kevin De Bruyne and Jan Vertonghen in his starting XI.

Belgium have endured a difficult tournament in Qatar with star De Bruyne telling reporters he believed the team was “too old” to lift the World Cup ahead of their shock 2-0 loss to Morocco, one that has left them in real danger of being lost. in the knockouts.

French newspaper L’Equipe later claimed that De Bruyne, Vertonghen and Hazard clashed in the dressing room after the loss to Morocco, reporting that Romelu Lukaku had to separate his teammates.

Belgium captain Eden Hazard has been dropped on the bench for today's clash against Croatia.

Belgium captain Eden Hazard has been dropped on the bench for today’s clash against Croatia.

Jan Vertonghen has been included in the Belgium XI to face Croatia

Jan Vertonghen has been included in the Belgium XI to face Croatia

Kevin de Bruyne has also been named in the starting eleven

Kevin de Bruyne has also been named in the starting eleven

But Jan Vertonghen (left) and Kevin de Bruyne (right) have been named in the Belgium XI.

Martinez, who has strongly refuted those claims, may have explored today’s clash against Croatia as a potential opportunity to rest some of his older players, but Morocco denied him that luxury last Sunday.

With the defeat, it is now Croatia who top the table, but only on goal difference with Morocco only trailing behind, and facing an easier test in no-nonsense Canada.

Thus, Belgium have once again named their strongest possible line-up, with Vertonghen once again starting alongside his former Tottenham and Ajax teammate Toby Alderweireld in defence.

Lukaku, meanwhile, will once again have to make an impact from the bench, if at all.

As for Croatia, there had been talk of a possible rest for 37-year-old Luka Modric, but the veteran midfielder was given a starting role.

Confirmed eleven from Belgium: Courtois, Meunier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Castagne, Dendoncker, Witsel, Carrasco, De Bruyne, Trossard, Mertens

Confirmed eleven from Croatia: Livakovic, Juranovic, Lovren, Gvardiol, Sosa, Modric, Brozovic, Kovacic, Kramaric, Livaja, Perisic

Belgium coach Roberto Martinez is eyeing the genuine possibility of an early departure in Qatar

Belgium coach Roberto Martinez is eyeing the genuine possibility of an early departure in Qatar

Belgium coach Roberto Martinez is eyeing the genuine possibility of an early departure in Qatar

Romelu Lukaku is once again on the bench and will have to make his impact late, if at all.

Romelu Lukaku is once again on the bench and will have to make his impact late, if at all.

Romelu Lukaku is once again on the bench and will have to make his impact late, if at all.

There had been talk of a possible rest for the 37-year-old Luka Modric, but the veteran midfielder was given a starting role.

There had been talk of a possible rest for the 37-year-old Luka Modric, but the veteran midfielder was given a starting role.

There had been talk of a possible rest for the 37-year-old Luka Modric, but the veteran midfielder was given a starting role.

Belgium need a win to guarantee their progression to the round of 16, with a draw only enough should Morocco lose to Canada, while their goal difference is also three worse.

Meanwhile, Croatia can afford to draw the game to go through, although only a win will guarantee them top spot in the group.

The team that ultimately wins the group will play their Round of 16 clash on Tuesday, December 6 at Education City Stadium, kicking off at 3pm. It will be against the runner-up in Group E, which is currently Japan.

The team that finishes second in the group, for its part, will face the winner of Group E -currently Spain- on Monday, December 5, again at 3:00 p.m., although this time at the Al Janoub Stadium.