Belgian national football manager Marc Wilmots on Monday pledged to give players who have received a yellow card or are not in good form a rest in the third and final match of the group stage against Korea.
With two wins over Algeria and Russia, Belgium has already secured a place in the round of 16 in the World Cup in Brazil. Wilmots plans to give several substitute players a chance to start against Korea so that the team can be in better shape for the next round.
Wilmots mentioned Axel Witsel of FC Zenit Saint Petersburg, and Toby Alderweireld of Atlético Madrid, who received a yellow card in Sunday’s match against Russia, as some of the players who will sit on the bench on Thursday.
Eden Hazard of Chelsea and Vincent Kompany of Manchester City are not in perfect shape due to minor injuries, so they may also not start against Korea.
The same goes for defender Thomas Vermaelen of Arsenal, who was replaced on Sunday due to pain in his thigh. "It's a strain. In six or seven days he'll be fit again and able to join the group,” Wilmots said.
The 11 players who started against Russia did not train in Monday's recovery session, while players did simple stretching exercises.
In the post-match interview on Monday, Wilmots said he has not analyzed the videos of the Korean team.