Lukaku set to sit out against England

England is unlikely to have to deal with prolific Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku, even though he is recovering well from an ankle injury.

Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku   -  Getty Images

Romelu Lukaku is unlikely to be risked in Belgium's concluding World Cup Group G game against England in Kaliningrad.

The Manchester United striker has been in superb form so far in Russia, scoring a brace in each of the wins over Panama and Tunisia.

But Lukaku sustained external ligament damage to his left ankle in the latter 5-2 victory and, although head coach Roberto Martinez reported good news overall on his number nine's progress, he seems set to sit out on Thursday with qualification for the knockout stages already secured.

"With Romelu Lukaku we had very good news on the scan. He had no further damage but it is still uncomfortable," Martinez told his pre-match news conference on the eve of the game.

"We'll will make a final assessment tonight for him to be involved or not.

"At the moment he is still in the recovery phase and had a really difficult knock against Tunisia.

"We are happy that tomorrow is probably one day too early, but I don't think he is going to take any longer than that."

Martinez has already floated the idea of wholesale changes against England, in a game where he claims victory is not a "priority" for his side.

Lukaku lies joint second alongside Cristiano Ronaldo in the race for the World Cup Golden Boot, one shy of England captain Harry Kane, who has five.

Support Sportstar


Dear Reader,

Support our journalism — where text and pictures intermingle so seamlessly — and help us scale up your experience as the world changes around us. Your contribution is vital to our brand of uninfluenced, boots-on-the-ground reportage that’s worth your while. Clickbait sensationalism is not for us, but editorial independence is — we owe it to you.

  Dugout videos