England host Belgium on Sunday as two of the favourites for next summer’s delayed Euro 2020 tournament collide at Wembley in the Nations League.
Roberto Martinez has a wealth of talent at his disposal, including a host of familiar faces plying their trade in the Premier League.
With ex-Chelsea man Eden Hazard ruled out through injury, we turn the spotlight on four Red Devils that Gareth Southgate’s side will need to keep a close eye on.
Kevin De Bruyne
A man who needs little introduction, Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne is a midfield metronome for both club and country who England must stop at all costs.
Despite City finishing 18 points behind champions Liverpool last season, the 29-year-old midfielder notched an incredible 13 goals and 20 assists in just 35 league appearances.
And with stats like that, it came as no surprise when he was named the 2020 PFA Player of the Year last month.
De Bruyne has also proved equally instrumental at international level, registering 36 assists for his country already — including two in Belgium’s 5-1 drubbing of Iceland in their last Nations League outing.
Now established as one of Europe’s most prolific finishers, Inter Milan marksman Romelu Lukaku (pictured above) is first-choice striker for a country with a plethora of attacking options.
Already Belgium’s all-time record scorer with 52 goals in 85 appearances, Lukaku’s blistering form last term suggests his best years may still be ahead.
He netted 23 times in 36 Serie A appearances and also weighed in with seven goals in the Europa League as Inter reached the final.
A popular figure in England after spells with Chelsea, West Brom, Everton and Manchester United, the 27-year-old striker has yet to score against the Three Lions.
A perfect example of the modern full-back, Thomas Meunier has been a regular fixture for Belgium in recent years.
Given a licence to roam in his country’s preferred 3-4-3 formation, Meunier is a competent tackler who can also cross and finish efficiently — as showcased by his seven goals and 12 assists in 41 appearances for the Red Devils.
After trading Paris Saint-Germain for Borussia Dortmund this summer, the confident right-back, 29, will be looking for another strike against England having netted in the 2-0 triumph in the 2018 World Cup third place play-off.
Second only to Jan Vertonghen in Belgium’s all-time appearance list, Axel Witsel remains a vital cog in Belgium’s engine room — despite being the wrong side of 30.
The towering midfielder, who has 107 caps to his name, made his debut as a winger nearly 13 years ago but slowly worked his way back to become one of Europe’s most efficient holding players.
Currently turning out for Borussia Dortmund alongside Red Devils team-mate Meunier, 31-year-old Witsel does the dirty work to let the attacking players around him shine.
And he could prove to be the unlikely source of England’s downfall at Wembley.