With Belgium about to play some very important games, they’ll have to do so without their very important defender.
Vincent Kompany, who missed Manchester City’s last match – a 2-2 draw with QPR – with a calf strain, will not be available for his national team, manager Marc Wilmots confirmed.
“I received a call from Vincent earlier,” Wilmots said to Belgian channel RTBF. H”e is out for Manchester City for 10 to 12 days, so is unavailable for Sunday. It’s a shame but there is no problem, there are only solutions.”
The miss is enormous as the country prepares to play Group B leaders Wales (!!) on Sunday in Euro 2016 qualification. They do have Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld – with the latter currently playing at a high level for Southampton – as well as Nicolas Lombaerts. Because these men are all central defenders by trade, Belgium is in an ok position.
However, with Wilmots preferring to play Lombaerts on the left and Vertonghen on the right, one will have to move centrally, which will force the manager to bring on someone like Laurens de Bock (left), Jelle van Damme (left), or Thomas Meunier (right) into their preferred location in the back line.
Many are reporting that Kompany may be out as many as 10-12 days, which would rule him out of Manchester City’s return from the international break against Swansea, and it could extend to City’s do-or-die Champions League match with Bayern Munich as well.
Belgium currently sits in Group B’s third position with four points, which would qualify them for the playoff. The two spots above them are guaranteed, and are held by Wales in first (!!!!) with seven points, while Israel has six. Cyprus lurks behind them with three points.