2 certainties: Koen Casteels, Matz Sels
1 to choose from: Thibaut Courtois, Thomas Kaminski
Thibaut Courtois was the first name on the list for ten years, but the Real Madrid goalkeeper is very uncertain for the European Championship. Firstly, because he is recovering from a cruciate ligament injury and may not recover until just before the European Championships. Secondly, because he is not currently on speaking terms with the national coach. Koen Casteels (Wolfsburg) and Matz Sels (Strasbourg) are numbers two and three. Thomas Kaminski (Luton Town) can replace Courtois in the selection.
6 certainties: Timothy Castagne, Wout Faes, Ameen Al-Dakhil, Jan Vertonghen, Arthur Theate, Olivier Deman
2 to choose from: Zeno Debast, Alexis Saelemaekers, Hugo Siquet, Toby Alderweireld, Koni De Winter, Zinho Vanheusden, Jorne Spileers, Maxim De Cuyper
Domenico Tedesco will play with four defenders and will call out two names per position. Timothy Castagne (Fulham), Wout Faes (Leicester), Jan Vertonghen (Anderlecht) and Arthur Theate (Rennes) are the undisputed holders. As backup for Theate, Olivier Deman (Werder Bremen) made a convincing turn. In the center of the defense, Ameen Al-Dakhil (Burnley) is preferred over Zeno Debast (Anderlecht) and Zinho Vanheusden (Standard) as a replacement for Wout Faes. Tedesco is still looking for a right back (Alexis Saelemakers?) as well as a second central midfielder. Antwerp captain Toby Alderweireld said goodbye to the national team but said he was available ‘in an emergency’. Tedesco would probably only call him up if experience with Jan Vertonghen disappears.
5 certainties: Amadou Onana, Orel Mangala, Arthur Vermeeren, Youri Tielemans, Kevin De Bruyne
1 to choose from: Mandela Keita, Roméo Lavia, Dennis Praet, Hans Vanaken, Aster Vranckx
Some players don’t need long to convince the national coach. Antwerp teenager Arthur Vermeeren plays effortlessly at the level of the Red Devils and can hardly miss a selection. Youri Tielemans (Aston Villa) has recovered after a difficult start to the season. Amadou Onana (Everton) and Orel Mangala (Nottingham Forest) became basic players under Tedesco. Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) was given the captain’s armband by the new national coach, but is recovering from a hamstring injury. The one place that is still up for grabs may go to Roméo Lavia, if he gets fit and is able to play at Chelsea. Things will probably be different between Mandela Keita (Antwerp) and Aster Vranckx (Wolfsburg) because they are better potential stand-ins for Amadou Onana than Dennis Praet or Hans Vanaken.
4 certainties: Johan Bakayoko, Dodi Lukebakio, Jérémy Doku, Yannick Carrasco
doubtful cases: Charles De Ketelaere, Thorgan Hazard, Mike Trésor
The places for the wing attackers seem to be fixed. A place will only become available if the speed demons Johan Bakayoko (PSV), Dodi Lukebakio (Sevilla) or Jérémy Doku (Manchester City) are unavailable. All have specific qualities that fit into Tedesco’s tactics with a lot of pressing and transition football. Charles De Ketelaere (Atalanta) has much less of that. Thorgan Hazard (Anderlecht) has been overlooked until now. Yannick Carrasco (Al-Shabab) remains in the top bracket of the national coach, despite a transfer to Saudi Arabia. Mike Trésor (Burnley) is in bad shape at his club and could not convince with the opportunity Tedesco gave him in Estonia.
3 certainties: Romelu Lukaku, Loïs Openda, Leandro Trossard
doubtful case: Michy Batshuayi
He may have been a familiar face of the Red Devils for years, but Michy Batshuayi’s selection is in serious danger. In Tedesco’s pressing football, the Fenerbahçe striker looks a bit lost. He does not put pressure on the defense like Loïs Openda and Leandro Trossard do. Romelu Lukaku doesn’t do that either, but the Roma striker does something else: scoring goals and taking on the role of vice-captain. Batshuayi has not scored for the Red Devils since the World Cup goal against Canada, one year ago this week. He is also usually a bencher at Fenerbahçe. He only comes along when Trossard is selected as a winger or midfielder.