Game on: Lineups and more as Belgium and Algeria kick off Group H

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The match kicks off at Noon ET. Here’s what you need to know before the Desert Foxes and Red Devils kick off Group H.

[ MORE PreviewsBelgium | Algeria | Group H ]
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Starting lineups

Belgium: Courtois, Alderweireld, Van Buyten, Kompany, Vertonghen, Witsel, Dembele, De Bruyne, Hazard, Chadli, Lukaku

Algeria: Mbolhi, Bougherra (c), Ghoulam, Halliche, Feghouli, Medjani, Bentaleb, Soudani, Taider, Mahrez, Mostefa

Talking points

1. Is Belgium as good as advertised? Head coach Marc Wilmots knows that there’s plenty of variation in the perception of his team.

“The international press have called us an outsider and a favourite at the same time. It is a great pleasure to be back in the competition with players who are hungry and have a desire to achieve.”

2. Did Algeria coach Vahid Halilhodzic get Belgium’s attention with his ‘cheap cars’ comment? There may be no chance of Algeria surprising a Belgian team after the following comments.

“Ok, let’s just say their defenders are no Ferraris but the same goes for ours. Belgium have exceptional qualities and it has been said this is their best ever team. We are going to suffer that we know already. We will suffer on all levels and I tell my boys that their suffering has to be at the highest level if you want to achieve something.”

No big deal?

Expectation: Belgium finds its footing and forces Algeria into the up-tempo battle it has prepared for all month long.

One blogger’s prediction: Belgium answers the bell with a comfortable 2-0 win.

Newcastle’s Krul on crutches after injury in Dutch win

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 03:  Tim Krul of Newcastle United looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Newcastle United at Etihad Stadium on October 3, 2015 in Manchester, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
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Newcastle United’s horror start under Steve McClaren just got worse.

Magpies No. 1 goalkeeper Tim Krul is on duty with the Netherlands, and was forced from the Dutch’s 2-1 win at Kazakhstan in Euro qualifying action.

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Krul left the game after landing awkwardly on his knee, and left the stadium on crutches.

Newcastle’s back-up keepers are Karl Darlow, new from Nottingham Forest, and veteran Rob Elliot.

The Magpies are in 20th place, without a win through eight Premier League matches.

McClaren’s crew just finished a brutal run of matches that saw Newcastle face Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal and Manchester United.

VIDEO: Marco Verratti plays a brilliant pass to Eder for Italy goal

PALERMO, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 06:  Marco Verratti of Italy in action during the UEFA EURO 2016 Qualifier match between Italy and Bulgaria on September 6, 2015 in Palermo, Italy.  (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)
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Italy took a 1-0 lead over Azerbaijan through the in-form Eder in the 11th minute, but the true leg-work (see what I did there) came from bite-sized midfielder Marco Verratti.

The PSG playmaker pinged a beautiful long ball over the top of the Azerbaijan defense that fell right at the feet of Eder, who let the ball settle itself and touched home confidently past Kamran Arhayev for a 1-0 lead.

The goal is the second of Eder’s national career in just five caps, having scored on debut against Bulgaria back in March. He has six goals in seven matches for Sampdoria so far this Serie A season.

Italy needs three points in this match to ensure qualification to Euro 2016. A win would guarantee them a place in the field, while anything less would mean there is work to do in the final match on Tuesday against Norway.


Later in the match, Stephan El Shaarawy gave Italy a 2-1 lead just before halftime, his second career international goal and his first since September of 2012 which came in his third career start.