Vermaelen injury gives Belgium more cause for concern


Genk (Belgium) (AFP) – Belgium’s defensive woes ahead of Euro 2016 continued on Friday as coach Marc Wilmots announced that centre-back Thomas Vermaelen will miss Sunday’s friendly against Norway with a muscle strain.

Wilmots said that the Barcelona player was forced to leave training on Friday in Genk early and becomes the latest defender on the sidelines for a team seen as one of the favourites to win the European Championship.

Wilmots has already seen skipper Vincent Kompany and Bjorn Engels withdraw from his squad while fellow defenders Nicolas Lombaerts and Dedryck Boyata pulled out at the start of this week.

Belgium will leave for their Euro base in Bordeaux next Tuesday with their first match against Italy in Lyon on June 13.

They are also due to face the Republic of Ireland and Sweden in Group E.

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