In Brief

World Cup group G: Belgium vs. Panama starting XIs, kick-off time and TV channel

Belgium coach Roberto Martinez urges his individual stars to ‘become a team’

Belgium vs. Panama (Monday 4pm, live on BBC One)

The Red Devils once again go into a major tournament as one of the dark horses to lift the trophy and head coach Roberto Martinez believes that if they play as a team they could well contend in Russia.

With stars such as Eden Hazard, Kevin de Bruyne, Romelu Lukaku and Thibaut Courtois in the squad there’s pressure on Belgium’s “golden generation” to succeed.

Belgium go into the World Cup unbeaten in 16 matches and Martinez told ESPN: “This is a group that has been playing a long time together. You could go back to 2008 and the Olympic Games in Beijing, and going through two big tournaments, becoming the No. 1 [ranked] team in the world, now becoming the first European team to qualify for the World Cup. These little nice stories allow them to keep progressing. 

“Since the first friendly against Spain [which Belgium lost, in September 2016], I think we’ve been unbeaten in 16. If we could become a team, with all the individuals that we have, it’s going to be really enjoyable to watch what we can achieve.”

Belgium’s first group G match is against Panama at the Fisht Stadium in Sochi on Monday (4pm, live on BBC One). Group G’s other match will see England take on Tunisia at the Volgograd Arena (7pm, live on BBC One).

Starting XIs and formations

How the two teams will line up for the group G clash in Sochi, according to Fifa.com.

  • Belgium (3-4-2-1): Thibaut Courtois; Jan Vertonghen, Dedryck Boyata, Toby Alderweireld; Axel Witsel, Kevin De Bruyne, Yannick Carrasco, Thomas Meunier; Dries Mertens, Eden Hazard; Romelu Lukaku 
  • Panama (4-5-1): Jaime Penedo; Roman Torres, Fidel Escobar, Eric Davis, Michael Murillo; Gabriel Gomez, Anibal Godoy, Armando Cooper, Edgar Barcenas, Jose Luis Rodriguez; Blas Perez
Group G fixtures and live TV channels (all times UK)
  • 18 June: Belgium vs. Panama (4pm, BBC); Tunisia vs. England (7pm, BBC) 
  • 23 June: Belgium vs. Tunisia (1pm, BBC) 
  • 24 June: England vs. Panama (1pm, BBC) 
  • 28 June: England vs. Belgium (7pm, ITV); Panama vs. Tunisia (7pm, ITV4)

Recommended

Team GB will make Olympic history with male and female flag bearers
Two-time Olympic gold medallist Andy Murray was Team GB’s flag bearer at Rio 2016
Sports Shorts

Team GB will make Olympic history with male and female flag bearers

F1 2021 season guide
F1 Bahrain Grand Prix
In Focus

F1 2021 season guide

Ryan Giggs denies charges of assaulting two women
Ryan Giggs leaves Manchester Magistrates’ Court
Sports Shorts

Ryan Giggs denies charges of assaulting two women

Nagelsmann to join Bayern in record €25m deal for a manager
Julian Nagelsmann will replace Hansi Flick as Bayern head coach
Sports Shorts

Nagelsmann to join Bayern in record €25m deal for a manager

Popular articles

London mayoral race 2021: who will win?
Night Tube Sadiq Khan
In Depth

London mayoral race 2021: who will win?

What is Donald Trump up to now?
Donald Trump
In Depth

What is Donald Trump up to now?

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 4 May 2021
10 Downing Street
Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 4 May 2021