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Lukaku in Belgium squad despite Inter Covid-19 issues

Brussels (AFP) – Belgium coach Roberto Martinez included Inter Milan’s Romelu Lukaku in the squad for World Cup qualifiers later this month on Friday despite a coronavirus outbreak at the striker’s club.

Inter’s game with Sassuolo on Saturday has been postponed after four players tested positive for Covid-19.

Belgium host Wales on March 24 and head to the Czech Republic three days later before entertaining Belarus on March 30.

“I think it’s a bit too soon to give a clear response,” he said about Lukaku’s participation in the fixtures.

Real Madrid’s Eden Hazard will miss the matches with a foot injury and Borussia Dortmund midfielder Axel Witsel is sidelined with an Achilles issue.

Two uncapped midfielders in Anderlecht’s Albert Sambi Lokonga and Stuttgart’s Orel Mangana have received their first call-ups.

Belgium squad:

Goalkeepers: Thibaut Courtois (Real Madrid/ESP), Simon Mignolet (Club Brugge), Koen Casteels (Wolfsburg/GER), Thomas Kaminski (Blackburn Rovers/ENG)

Defenders: Toby Alderweireld (Tottenham/ENG), Jason Denayer (Lyon/FRA), Dedryck Boyata (Hertha Berlin/GER), Leander Dendoncker (Wolverhampton/ENG), Brandon Mechele (Club Brugge), Thomas Vermaelen (Vissel Kobe/JPN), Jan Vertonghen (Benfica/POR)

Midfielders: Timothy Castagne (Leicester City/ENG), Nacer Chadli (Basaksehir/TUR), Thomas Foket (Reims/FRA), Thorgan Hazard (Borussia Dortmund/GER), Thomas Meunier (Borussia Dortmund/GER), Alexis Saelemaekers (AC Milan/ITA), Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City/ENG), Dennis Praet (Leicester City/ENG), Youri Tielemans (Leicester City/ENG), Hans Vanaken (Club Brugge), Orel Mangala (Stuttgart/GER), Albert Sambi Lokonga (Anderlecht)

Forwards: Yannick Carrasco (Atletico Madrid/ESP), Charles De Ketelaere (Club Brugge), Jeremy Doku (Rennes/FRA), Dries Mertens (Napoli/ITA), Leandro Trossard (Brighton/ENG), Yari Verschaeren (Anderlecht), Michy Batshuayi (Crystal Palace/ENG), Christian Benteke (Crystal Palace/ENG), Romelu Lukaku (Inter Milan/ITA), Adnan Januzaj (Real Sociedad/ESP)

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