Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Eden Hazard, Thibaut Courtois Among Belgium Core Squad

Belgium coach Marc Wilmots said Wednesday, in an interview with Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws that he had five players that he would always name to the team if they were fit to play.

The core squad that Wilmots named were Manchester City’s Vincent Kompany, Zenit’s Axel Witsel, Wolfsburg’s Kevin De Bruyne and Chelsea’s Eden Hazard and goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, who is on loan at Atlético Madrid.

Hazard was recently named the PFA Young Player of the Year during a spectacular second season at the Bridge, where he has scored 17 goals and has provided 10 assists for the club. He can improve both of these totals with two Premier League matches remaining.

Courtois is finishing up a third consecutive loan spell for La Liga side Atlético Madrid where he has already made 150 appearances and Atlético are on the verge of completing a historic La Liga and Champions League double.

While Wilmots is expected to name the final World Cup squad on June 2, there are two other Chelsea players that could find themselves on a plane to Brazil.

Romelu Lukaku is basically a lock for a spot on the squad after Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke ruptured his Achilles tendon leaving Belgium with one option up front for the No. 9 position. Lukaku has spent this season on loan at Everton where he has added on 13 Premier League goals to the 17 he claimed last season on loan at West Bromwich Albion.

Thorgan Hazard, younger brother of Eden, is an outside to chance to make the team, receiving his first and only cap so far against the USA during a friend on May 29, 2013, but the youngster has been brilliant on loan at Belgian side Zulte Waregem.

Belgium’s first game of the upcoming World Cup is on June 17, where they face Algeria. This team is tipped by many to be a World Cup dark-horse, so it will be interesting to see how they fare against the world’s best without a lot of big-game experience.

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Tags: Chelsea FC Eden Hazard Thibaut Courtois World Cup 2014

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