Belgium will gamble on Vincent Kompany fitness as Man City defender is named in World Cup squad

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Vincent Kompany (r) suffered a groin injury during Belgium's goalless draw with Portugal on Saturday.

Belgium will leave it as late as possible to decide whether Vincent Kompany will be fit for the World Cup after the Manchester City captain was named in the 23-man squad.

The 32-year-old defender suffered a groin injury during Belgium’s goalless draw with Portugal in Brussels on Saturday and was due to have a scan on Sunday.

Manager Roberto Martinez decided to kept Kompany in the squad after reducing it from the original 28 to the 23 who will make the trip to Russia.

Martinez revealed he would wait until closer to Belgium’s World Cup opener against Panama on June 18 before making a decision on whether to play Kompany.

After naming his 23-man squad Martinez told a press conference: “Until 24 hours before (Belgium v Panama) we can still make a replacement. We need to wait a period of seven, eight days with Vincent Kompany. Then we will get a good opportunity to make a diagnosis.

“Vincent Kompany is a true leader. He performed in a fantastic manner when he was on the pitch. His leadership is essential for us.”

There was, though, disappointment for Crystal Palace forward Christian Benteke, who did not make the final 23-man cut.

Martinez said: “Christian Benteke has been the toughest decision, but it is for the balance of the squad.

“We have two number 9’s – Michy Batshuayi and Romelu Lukaku have taken those positions.”

Belgium are in Group G in the World Cup where they will also face Tunisia and then England in Kaliningrad on June 28.

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Spain coach Julen Lopetegui brushes off David De Gea error and is pleased by Andres Iniesta's influence

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Spain coach Julen Lopetegui gave short shrift to suggestions he may react to David De Gea’s uncharacteristic blunder against Switzerland by replacing him in goal for Spain’s final World Cup warm-up match against Tunisia.

The Manchester United stopper has been in fantastic form for his club this season – named the Red Devils’ Player of the Season for a fourth time in five years and winning the Premier League’s Golden Glove award.

But a huge blunder saw De Gea spill Stephan Lichtsteiner’s cross, with allowed Ricardo Rodriguez to tap in from close-range as the Swiss earned a 1-1 draw at Villarreal’s Estadio de la Ceramica on Sunday after Alvaro Odriozola’s sensational volley had opened the scoring for La Roja.

“David knows that I know he’s going to take us forward in many games and I have no doubt [about him],” Lopetegui, who remains unbeaten in the 19 matches he has taken charge of since being appointed following Euro 2016, told reporters, as written by Goal.com.

Spain have one more warm-up game scheduled before opening their World Cup campaign with a derby clash against Iberian neighbours Portugal at Sochi’s Fisht Olympic Stadium on June 15.

With next Saturday’s match against Tunisia taking place in Krasnodar, the Switzerland encounter may have been the last time former Barcelona captain Andres Iniesta represented Spain on home soil.

Iniesta Spain

Iniesta was substituted early in the second half to a standing ovation after shaking off a bang to the knee sustained in a challenge with Swiss striker Breel Embolo.

And despite a magical career winding its way down to a conclusion, Lopetegui was happy to see the diminutive star of Spain’s 2010 World Cup triumph prove he can still play a pivotal role for his nation.

“The ovation has been won by the performance of his entire career,” Lopetegui said of Iniesta, who has signed for J1 League side Vissel Kobe.

“But the most important thing is the match he has made, showing his absolute validity.

“We are in the preparation phase and we were thinking of replacing him. What matters most to us is what he is still about to give us.”

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Watch: Our Sport360 experts look ahead to Group A at the World Cup

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In the first of our live preview shows at Sport360 studios looking ahead to the World Cup in Russia, Alex Broun sits down with two of our squad to discuss the teams, players and fixtures to look out for in Group A – home to tournament hosts Russia, as well as Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Uruguay.

Alex is joined by Brendon Netto and Abdelrahman El Kallaway.

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