World Cup 2014

World Cup: Belgium releases roster stacked with EPL talent, including teen surprise Adnan Januzaj

The 24-man preliminary roster for World Cup dark horse Belgium was released on Tuesday, a group that includes teenage surprise Adnan Januzaj and 11 other players from the English Premier League.

Belgium – who are the favorites to advance in Group H and could meet the United States in the knockout round – will also carry imposing 21-year-old Everton forward Romelu Lukaku and Chelsea’s reigning Player of the Year, Eden Hazard.

Head coach Marc Wilmots said Monday that he will cut the team’s roster down to 23 players before the FIFA deadline, with one of the cuts coming among the four goalkeepers named.

Belgium will take on the US in a closed-door scrimmage in São Paulo on June 12 as a final tune-up before they open the World Cup on June 17 against Algeria in Belo Horizonte.

BELGIUM’S 24-MAN PRELIMINARY ROSTER

Goalkeepers (4)

Thibaut Courtois (Atlético Madrid – Spain / 22 yrs.)
Simon Mignolet (Liverpool – England / 26 yrs.)
Koen Casteels (Hoffenheim – Germany / 21 yrs.)
Silvio Proto (Anderlecht – Belgium / 30 yrs.)

Defenders (8)

Toby Alderweireld (Atlético Madrid – Spain / 25 yrs.)
Laurent Ciman (Standard Liege – Belgium /28 yrs.)
Nicolas Lombaerts (Zenit St. Petersburg – Russia / 29 yrs.)
Vincent Kompany (Manchester City – England / 28 yrs.)
Daniel Van Buyten (Bayern Munich – Germany / 36 yrs.)
Anthony Vanden Borre (Anderlecht – Belgium / 26 yrs.)
Thomas Vermaelen (Arsenal – England / 28 yrs.)
Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham Hotspur – England / 27 yrs.)

Midfielders (10)

Nacer Chadli (Tottenham Hotspur – England / 24 yrs.)
Moussa Dembele (Tottenham Hotspur – England / 26 yrs.)
Steven Defour (Porto – Portugal / 26 yrs. )
Kevin De Bryune (Wolfsburg – Germany / 22 yrs.)
Marouane Fellaini (Manchester United – England / 26 yrs.)
Adnan Januzaj (Manchester United – England / 19 yrs.)
Eden Hazard (Chelsea – England / 23 yrs.)
Kevin Mirallas (Everton – England / 26 yrs.)
Divock Origi (Lille – France / 19 yrs.)
Axel Witsel (Zenit St. Petersburg – Russia / 25 yrs.)

Forwards (2)

Romelu Lukaku (Everton – England / 21 yrs.)
Dries Mertens (Napoli – Italy / 27 yrs.)