Eden Hazard included in Belgium squad for England clash
Eden Hazard has been named in Belgium’s 33-man squad for next month’s Nations League clash with England, despite a lack of action for Real Madrid.
Forward Hazard has missed his club’s opening two LaLiga matches of the season due to an ankle injury and has not played since a Champions League defeat to Manchester City in early August.
The Spanish champions host Real Valladolid on Wednesday and travel to Levante on Sunday.
Belgium manger Roberto Martinez said Hazard, who has 106 international caps, needs to be involved in those matches to have a chance of featuring on October 11 at Wembley.
“The news has been very positive in the last two weeks. The work has been really, really good and now we expect that Eden can conclude the final part of his, if you want, bit of pre-season with the game that they have tonight and the game on Sunday,” Martinez told a press conference.
“If Eden could be involved in those two games, he will come into the national team.
“If, for a reason, Eden is not involved in those two games then he will carry on working individually with Real Madrid and he wouldn’t be involved in the games with the national team, as you would expect.”
Captain Hazard is included alongside 10 Premier League players for a friendly against Ivory Coast followed by Nations League clashes with Gareth Southgate’s side and Iceland.
Leicester trio Timothy Castagne, Dennis Praet and Youri Tielemans are among the England-based contingent selected by Martinez.
Crystal Palace strikers Michy Batshuayi and Christian Benteke also make the cut, joining Tottenham centre-back Toby Alderweireld, Wolves defender Leander Dendoncker, Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne, Brighton winger Leandro Trossard and Liverpool forward Divock Origi.
Thibaut Courtois, Simon Mignolet, Jason Denayer, Dedryck Boyata, Jan Vertonghen, Nacer Chadli and Romelu Lukaku are the former Premier League players selected.
Cologne defender Sebastiaan Bornauw, Standard Liege centre-back Zinho Vanheusden and AC Milan midfielder Alexis Saelemaekers are poised to make debuts against Ivory Coast before returning to the Under-21 side.
Goalkeeper Hendrik Van Crombrugge, midfielder Dodi Lukebakio and winger Joris Kayembe are also currently uncapped.
Former Swansea, Wigan and Everton boss Martinez plans to rotate his large squad for the three fixtures.
“The idea is that nobody will play three games. The real opportunity of having three games is not for us to use the same players,” he said.
Full squad: Koen Casteels, Thibaut Courtois, Simon Mignolet, Hendrik Van Crombrugge, Toby Alderweireld, Sebastiaan Bornauw, Dedryck Boyata, Jason Denayer, Leander Dendoncker, Brandon Mechele, Zinho Vanheusden, Jan Vertonghen, Yannick Carrasco, Timothy Castagne, Nacer Chadli, Joris Kayembe, Thomas Meunier, Alexis Saelemaekers, Kevin De Bruyne, Dennis Praet, Youri Tielemans, Hans Vanaken, Axel Witsel, Jeremy Doku, Eden Hazard, Dodi Lukebakio, Dries Mertens, Divock Origi, Leandro Trossard, Yari Verschaeren, Michy Batshuayi, Christian Benteke, Romelu Lukaku.