Red Devils to play friendly match against Serbia in Leuven without crowd
Belgium take on Serbia in a friendly on Wednesday evening at the King Power stadium in Leuven. The game was originally scheduled to take place at the King Baudouin stadium in Brussels, but the pitch there is in poor condition following Tuesday's heavy rainfall. The last-minute venue change means it was deemed unsafe to allow spectators to attend.
Red Devils coach Domenico Tedesco said at a press conference on Tuesday that he wanted to experiment against Serbia with an eye to next summer's European Championship in Germany. Belgium play their final European Championship qualifier against Azerbaijan on Sunday having already qualified. A win will guarantee them top spot in the group and, most likely, top seeding in the Euro 2024 draw.
Centre back Zinho Vanheusden has already been ruled out of Wednesday's friendly through injury. Wing-back Alexis Saelemaekers and midfielder Amadou Onana are also doubtful. Defenders Jan Vertonghen and Ameen Al-Dakhil are expected to be available and teenager Jorne Spileers has been added to the squad for the first time.
This will be the fifth meeting between Belgium and Serbia. Belgium's only defeat came in the first match in 2006, with a 1-0 defeat in Belgrade. Three victories followed: 3-2 in Brussels in 2007, 3-0 in Belgrade in 2012 and 2-1 in Brussels in 2013. Between 2003 and 2006, the team played as Serbia and Montenegro, until Montenegro declared its independence.
© PHOTO JOEL MARKLUND