Roberto Martinez updates on Thomas Vermaelen, Vincent Kompany injuries

Roberto Martinez updates on Thomas Vermaelen, Vincent Kompany injuries

Belgium manager Roberto Martinez has confirmed that both Thomas Vermaelen and Vincent Kompany are ruled out for the opening World Cup game against Panama but he remains optimistic that the duo can return before the knockout stages. Vermaelen picked up a hamstring problem at Barcelona last month whilst Kompany sustained a groin injury during the Red Devils’ warm-up game against Portugal.

Speaking to reporters, he said: “Thomas Vermaelen has improved really well, a little bit like we expected. He’s not going to be involved in the game against Panama and that is going to be a decision to see about using him accordingly depending on his match fitness. Medically I think he could be fit for the next two games. With Kompany we’re going to take through tomorrow to make the final call as we follow through the procedure. We are confident as well with the progress he has made since the Portugal game that he will be available to be involved in the third game of the group phase.”

With the pair ruled out, Dedryck Boyata is expected to play as part of a three-man central defence alongside Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld. The Celtic defender has certainly improved on his game since his time with Manchester City but there are still question marks whether he can step up to the plate at the big stage.

Certainly with Panama and Tunisia, the Red Devils may not have much of a worry at the back but Martinez will be hoping that at least one of Kompany or Vermaelen return for the final group stage against England. Should things go the right way, Belgium could expect to face one of Poland, Colombia, Japan and Senegal in the round of 16 and they should fancy their chances of reaching the quarter-finals at the least.

Author: index