Belgium vs Canada - World Cup: Team news, lineups & prediction

Kevin De Bruyne is the attacking linchpin of Belgium's World Cup squad
Kevin De Bruyne is the attacking linchpin of Belgium's World Cup squad / BSR Agency/GettyImages

2018 World Cup bronze medallists Belgium face a history-making Canada side on Wednesday evening.

Eight members of Roberto Martinez's squad will be travelling to their third World Cup. Canada's captain Atiba Hutchinson is the only member of John Herdman's setup that was even alive the last time the Canucks featured at a World Cup (at three years old in 1986, he didn't quite make the cut).

Here's everything you need to know about the meeting between two teams with wildly contrasting tournament experiences.

Where are Belgium vs Canada playing?

  • Location: Ar-Rayyan, Qatar
  • Stadium: Ahmed bin Ali Stadium
  • Date: Wednesday 23 November
  • Kick-off Time: 19:00 GMT / 14:00 ET / 11:00 PT

Belgium vs Canada H2H Results (All Time)

  • Belgium: 1 Win
  • Canada: 0 Wins
  • Draws: 0

Current Form (Last Five Games)

  • Belgium: WDWWL
  • Canada: LWLDW

Belgium team news

Thomas Meunier missed Borussia Dortmund's final five Bundesliga matches before joining the Belgian squad with a fractured cheekbone. The 31-year-old has been able to take part in training with a protective, eery cream mask which he acknowledged when tweeting: "Michael Myers is back. Start fearing!"

Romelu Lukaku has played less than half an hour of football for Inter since August after sustaining a pair of hamstring injuries in quick succession.

Roberto Martinez included Belgium's all-time top scorer in his squad but was vague over his involvement in the coming weeks, offering: “We’ve worked well with the medical staff of Inter and we hope that he’ll have a good World Cup."

It's subsequently emerged that Lukaku is unlikely to feature in Belgium's first two games.

Belgium predicted lineup vs Canada

Belgium Starting 11 (3-4-2-1): Courtois; Dendoncker, Alderweireld, Vertonghen; Meunier, Witsel, Tielemans, Carrasco; De Bruyne, E Hazard; Batshuayi.
Bench: Mignolet, Casteels, Theate, Faes, Debast, T Hazard, Onana, Vanaken, Castagne, Mertens, Trossard, De Ketelaere, Openda, Doku.

Canada team news

Canada's major injury concern is also the team's best player. Bayern Munich's Alphonso Davies picked up a hamstring problem while playing for the Bavarians at the start of November. The 22-year-old missed both of his country's pre-World Cup friendlies, leaving his availability this Wednesday in doubt.

Canada predicted lineup vs Belgium

Canada Starting 11 (3-4-3): Borjan; Johnston, Vitoria, Miller; Laryea, Eustaquio, Hutchinson, Adekugbe; Buchanan, Larin, David.
Bench: St. Clair, Pantemis, Cornelius, Waterman, Piette, Fraser, Hoilett, Kaye, Kone, Osorio, Millar, Wotherspoon, Cavallini, Ugbo.

Belgium vs Canada score prediction

Canada are one of five nations to have featured at a World Cup but never scored. Herdman's fleet-footed frontline may be able to break the team's drought if they can exploit the immobility of Belgium's ageing and advanced centre-backs.

However, even though Belgium are defensively fallible, it would be an almighty shock if Canada can get a result against a nation ranked second in the world. As the Durham-born Herdman admitted ahead of the tournament: “We’ll be a genuine underdog in every single game.”

Prediction: Belgium 3-1 Canada