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Official: Modric, Courtois, Carrasco, Witsel start in Croatia vs Belgium, Hazard dropped

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Photo by OZAN KOSE/AFP via Getty Images

Belgium lock horns against Croatia for the final round of the 2022 FIFA World Cup group stages. The winner of this game will get a direct spot in the round of 16, and the Red Devils have made ample changes to their side after a reported dressing room fall-out.

Eden Hazard has been dropped from the starting lineup after two mediocre performances in a row. In his place, Robert Martinez gives the nod to inform Brighton & Hove Albion winger Leandro Trossard.

After being benched for the Morocco outing, Yannic Carrasco has been given the nod to start over Thorgan Hazard as the left-wingback. He will play alongside Atletico Madrid teammate Axel Witself, who takes up the role of the defensive midfielder.

Thibaut Courtois maintains his spot in goal, with Kevin de Bruyne captaining the team tonight. Michy Batshuayi has been benched in favour of Dries Mertens, too.

As for Croatia, their starting lineup remains unchanged from the impressive win against Canada. Luka Modric dons the captain’s armband as a central midfielder, partnered by former Real Madrid ace Mateo Kovacic.

Andrej Kramaric was on target twice vs Alphonso Davies’ and will start as the striker in this crucial game.

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Atletico Madrid News

Ancelotti talks Courtois, Militao, Bellingham, VAR controversies ahead of Las Palmas vs Real Madrid

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Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Coming off a highly controversial game against Almeria, Real Madrid will now travel to Gran Canaria to take on Las Palmas tomorrow as part of the early kick-off.

Carlo Ancelotti spoke about the clash tomorrow, starting off by confirming his goalkeeper for tomorrow, “Lunin will start tomorrow.”

He also added that Madrid were looking to get back to their usual level after back-to-back poor performances, one of which included elimination against Atletico Madrid in the Copa del Rey round of 16.

“We are motivated to return to our best level after 2 bad games.”

The Italian gaffer also commented on the biggest football story in the world today, which was Jurgen Klopp announcing his decision to leave Liverpool at the end of the season.

“It’s quite surprising, I understand. Working for a long time with the same club and players lowers your motivation a bit. He’s doing a fantastic job at Liverpool.”

And of course, Ancelotti also spoke about the leaked VAR audiovisual, some of which are highly controversial for all parties involved. Barcelona coach and players have also commented on the same, in light of the Negreira case.

“They have talked a lot. Everyone knows what has happened in the last 20 years in Spanish football. The Civil Guard is carrying out an investigations. That is the real problem of Spanish football.”

Luckily for the manager and fans, all injured players — minus the ACL trio of David Alaba, Eder Militao, and Thibaut Courtois — are available. Jude Bellingham is suspended, however.

“Everyone is available now after the recent period of injuries.”

“Making up for Bellingham’s absence tomorrow? Brahim and Joselu are available options. They were able to show themselves after I relied on them as substitutes,” he added.

And as far as Militao and Courtois are concerned, both of whom tore their ACL early in the season, Ancelotti suggested that they could make their return before the season ends.

“Courtois and Militão both have the option to play this season. The recovery process is going very well, they are training on an individual level. It is February and these types of injuries last 6-8 months, so I think they will recover before the end of the season.”

Source: Mundo Deportivo

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