Belgium will definitely be without record goalscorer Romelu Lukaku against Canada because of a thigh injury.
Thomas Meunier is a doubt due to the broken cheekbone he suffered last month, while Jan Vertonghen has also been carrying a knock.
Canada have been boosted by the news that Alphonso Davies has been passed fit after a hamstring strain.
Stephen Eustaquio has recovered from a muscle problem and goalkeeper Milan Borjan is also available.
Forget Morocco because Canada are the hipster team at this tournament, and it is good to see them back at a World Cup for the first time since Mexico 1986.
I have got them down as finishing fourth in Group F but I am not ruling them out of causing a shock or two if Alphonso Davies is fit and Jonathan David can get among the goals.
Belgium are quite an obvious choice as group winners and they should certainly win this opening game, but I have got reservations about them in defence – Roberto Martinez still relies a lot on Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld, who are both getting on a bit now.
Going forward, there are a couple of doubts too. Romelu Lukaku is carrying an injury and it feels like a long time since we saw Eden Hazard at his best – so they are probably not going into this World Cup as strong as they were at the last one.
- The only international fixture between Belgium and Canada was a friendly in Ottawa in June 1989 which the visitors won 2-0.
- Only Mexico (16) have made more World Cup appearances than Belgium (13) without ever having lifted the trophy.
- Belgium were the top goal scorers at the 2018 World Cup, scoring 16 times as they finished third.
- They are unbeaten in their last 12 World Cup group stage matches since losing to Saudi Arabia in 1994.
- The Red Devils can equal the World Cup record of eight consecutive group stage wins, set twice by Brazil between 1986-1994 and again in 2002-2010.
- John Herdman is the first person to manage a team at both the men’s and women’s World Cup finals. He managed New Zealand (2007, 2011) and Canada (2015) at the women’s World Cup.
- They lost to all three of their matches at their only previous World Cup appearance in 1986 without scoring a goal.
- Les Rouges are winless in their last 12 games against European opposition (D5, L7).
- If he plays, Atiba Hutchinson (39 years 288 days) will become the second oldest outfield player in World Cup history behind only Cameroon’s Roger Milla.
Source: BBC Sports