Belgium hero Romelu Lukaku

Belgium forward Romelu Lukaku is on the mend but not likely to be risked against England in Thursday’s final Group G game in Kaliningrad.

Both sides go against each other having already qualified for the last 16 after winning their opening two games with top spot up for grabs.

Manchester United’s Lukaku has missed training this week because of an ankle injury suffered in the 5-2 win over Tunisia last Saturday.

Speaking at Wednesday’s press conference, Belgium boss Roberto Martinez revealed his team news but played down any concerns that Lukaku, scorer of four goals in Russia, was a long-term concern.

Martinez said: “He had a really difficult knock against Tunisia and probably Thursday is one day too early, but I don’t think it is going to take any longer than that.

“We had very good news on the scan. There was no further damage, but it is still uncomfortable.

“I don’t think he will be training on Wednesday, and I think we will make a final assessment tonight in order for him to be involved or not. At the moment, it is still in (the) recovery phase.”

Both sides have 100 per cent records in the competition, and Martinez voiced his admiration for England.

“What I see is Gareth Southgate has brought all his success from U21 level and has developed an England culture,” Martinez added.

“I think there is a clear structure, there has been a real tactical awareness, there has been a change of system to go into different qualifying games.

“They have found a system that suits this generation. There is a youth about them, an energy, a belief and a real desire.”

Belgium defender Thomas Vermaelen was full of praise for Harry Kane, describing the England skipper as “a complete striker”.

Tottenham forward Kane has already scored five goals in the tournament, including a hat-trick during the 6-1 rout of Panama.

“What he has done in the league – of course I can only judge by seeing him on TV – he has scored a lot of goals and been very important for Tottenham and the English national team as well,” Vermaelen said.

“He is a complete striker. He is strong, he scores goals. For me, he is a world-class striker.”

Get more stories like this on Twitter

AD: To get thousands of free final year project topics and other project materials sorted by subject to help with your research [click here]

More Stories