Roberto Martinez announced a few months ago that he would only call up international players with fewer than 50 caps for the international match in March. “We want to prepare them for the 2026 World Cup,” Martinez said earlier. “It is helpful to see how these people deal with more responsibility.”
Thus constants such as Kevin De Bruyne, Axel Witsel and Romelu Lukaku are missing from the selection. Concretely, Yuri Tillmans is now the most experienced devil with 47 caps.
However, we don’t see many really new names in his 27-player roster. Seppi van der Heyden from Al Ittihad is the only entrant. He may travel to Tubiz with striker Dante Vanzer. In recent weeks, Nikola Storm (KV Mechelen) has also been talked about as a potential newcomer, but he hasn’t made the cut.
Uriel Mangala was called up once before last year, but the Stuttgart midfielder was soon forced to retire due to injury. He now hopes for more time with the national team.
The national coach relies on a small number of under-21 players. Although Jacky Mathijssen’s side still had an important European Championship qualifier, Martinez still brought Verschaeren, Theate and De Ketelaere into his group.
Timothy Castagne, Dennis Bright and Zenio Vanheusden are all out due to injury.
Lost Demons with over 50 hats
Jan Vertonghen, Axel Witsel, Toby Alderweireld, Eden Hazard, Dries Mertens, Romelu Lukaku, Thibaut Courtois, Kevin De Bruyne, Yannick Carrasco, Thomas Meunier.
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