Apart from England, no World Cup squad will have more Tottenham Hotspur players on it than Belgium. Red Devils manager Roberto Martinez released his 28-man provisional World Cup roster today, and while it contains at least one major surprise, the expected Belgian Hotspurs were all included: Jan Vertonghen, Toby Alderweireld, and Mousa Dembele all made the squad. The team also includes former Tottenham and current West Brom player Nacer Chadli.
The biggest surprise of this roster was Martinez’s decision to leave out Radja Nainggolan, the 30-year old Roma midfielder with 30 caps for Belgium. Everything else seems pretty straightforward. This isn’t the final roster, though — Martinez will need to cut five additional players from the squad by June 4. One of those players will probably be a goalkeeper, with four currently named to the provisional squad.
It’s hard to imagine that Martinez would cut one of Tottenham’s Belgian bros but stranger things have happened. Martinez is known for calling up but not starting Mousa Dembele, for example, but it would be especially harsh if Moose were left at home after putting in some solid, if short, performances for the Red Devils in qualifying. I doubt it happens. Vertonghen and Alderweireld are nailed on starters in Belgium’s back line.