Roberto Martinez puts Koen Casteels in goal against Wales: "For the rest I will make four or five substitutions"


The Red Devils will face Wales on Saturday evening in Cardiff. Roberto Martinez and Thomas Meunier addressed the press on Friday. “I think Trossard is an excellent player, but that doesn’t mean he will start,” said the national coach.

Yanko Beeckman, Ludo Vandewalle, Pieter-Jan Calcoen

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Wolfsburg goalkeeper Koen Casteels can certainly count on a basic place on Saturday evening. “He will start in goal,” said Roberto Martinez. The national coach did not want to say whether Leandro Trossard will start in the base after his strong attack against Poland. “We’ll see. I will make four or five changes again. I’m not just looking at scoring the goals, but I can’t help but notice that he’s grown a lot at Brighton. I think he’s an excellent player but that doesn’t mean he will start.” There was also less news about a few Devils: “Lukaku didn’t come. De Ketelaere is doubtful, Mertens and Onana are not ready to play.”

Martinez also emphasized that Wales will not become a bite-sized chunk. “The games against Wales are always difficult. But it’s a tough opponent for everyone. Watch the game against the Netherlands (which the Orange won 1-2, ed.). They never give up, they are very competitive. That has nothing to do with Belgium. They lost against the Netherlands, but before that it was a very long time ago that they lost at home.”


Meunier: “It was amateurish against the Netherlands at times”

After the national coach, it was up to Thomas Meunier to speak to the press. The right back of Dortmund had nice words for a few young Devils. “A lot of youngsters make a good impression playing against Wales. It’s a pity that Onana is injured but Theate can certainly start. I must say that the level of the youngsters is high. I am optimistic for the future.”

Meunier also came back to the disgrace against the Netherlands. “The criticism after the Netherlands was harsh but justified because we didn’t play well. At times it was even amateurish. But against Poland, also a World Cup participant, we did well.”

Finally, Meunier also joined Kevin De Bruyne, who recently criticized the overcrowded calendar. “The Nations League, I’ve never been a fan of it,” said Meunier. “That hasn’t changed. It makes money, that’s why we do it. Someone who plays a whole season doesn’t feel like having four games after the season. Mentally and physically that is exhausting, that is underestimated. It’s always plus, plus, plus,… In the United States, the players are much more involved in setting up the program. That should happen here too.”

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