Romelu Lukaku will be left out of Belgium’s final World Cup group game with England on Thursday night after picking up a slight ankle injury against Tunisia, according to reports from Belgium.
The Belgian has enjoyed an explosive start to the World Cup, netting braces in comfortable wins over Panama and Tunisia that guaranteed Roberto Martinez’s men a place in the knockout stages.
He missed training on Tuesday morning having picked up an injury against Tunisia last weekend, with Sky Sports claiming he was to have a scan on an ‘external ligament’ injury.
But according to Belgian media outlet HLN (via Sports Witness), Lukaku in fact has an ankle problem and will not be risked against England as Martinez looks to keep him fresh for the last 16.
Reports have suggested that Kevin de Bruyne, Thomas Meunier and Jan Vertonghen will all be rested as well for the game having picked up yellow cards in their opening two games. Should England draw with Belgium and pick up fewer or the same number of yellow cards in the game, Gareth Southgate’s men will win the group on the basis of Fair Play.
England’s back three now faces the prospect of going up against Michy Batshuayi – a certainly tricky prospect but nothing in comparison with the rampaging prowess of Lukaku.