After a disappointing 2nd half against Estonia which culminated in a 4-0 defeat, Gibraltar must now pick themselves up for another “once in a lifetime” game against the mighty Belgium. Littered with Premier League talent, Belgium will leave nothing to chance and play their glittering lineup of stars against Gibraltar in Faro.
— BelgianRedDevils (@BelRedDevils) 9 October 2016
After defeat in the quarter finals of Euro 2016 to Wales, former manager Marc Wilmots left his post as head coach of the national side to be replaced by Spaniard, Roberto Martinez. The former Everton, Wigan and Swansea manager was a surprise choice as many in England, especially Merseyside, lost faith with his attacking style of play, which left Everton with uninspired finishes in the league in the last two season. In contrast to the bewilderment in England, Belgium reaction was far more optimistic. The view in Belgium is a positive one and locals seem to buy into Martinez’s attacking style which they believe is essential to compliment the talent Belgium have going forward. More was the surprise former Arsenal, Barcelona and France striker Thierry Henry to join Martinez as his assistant, leaving the comforts of the Sky Sports studio during the international break to venture into his first job as coach in international football.
Despite losing his first game to Spain 2-0 in Brussels, Martinez has guided Belgium to 2 wins from their opening 2 games in the qualifying group. A 3-0 away win in Cyprus got things going for Martinez, which was followed up by Friday’s 4-0 win against Group H challengers Bosnia & Herzegovia. Belgium will be unphazed going into the game against Gibraltar and have plenty of attacking options to see the game through.
Word coming from Belgium is that they will field the strongest lineup possible to face Gibraltar. In his pre-match press conference, Martinez stated Romelu Lukaku has been “training on his own” which could put a question mark on his appearance tonight. Eden Hazard was quoted as saying the game against Gibraltar “is like any other”.