Roberto Martinez will expect a vast improvement from his Belgium side when they go in search of a record-breaking World Cup win over Morocco on Sunday.

The Red Devils were fortunate to beat Canada 1-0 in their first match of the tournament on Wednesday courtesy of a clinical finish from Michy Batshuayi.

Canada were the better side and Alphonso Davies had a penalty saved by Thibaut Courtois before Batshuayi secured all three points.

Belgium looked shaky at the back and got away with a lacklustre performance, Canada failing to find the back of the net with 22 attempts in the opening match of only their second World Cup.

But if Belgium beat Morocco, they will become the first team in World Cup history to win nine consecutive group games.

Morocco held Croatia to a goalless draw in their first Group F match and are plotting to spring a surprise at Al Thumama Stadium this weekend.

The Atlas Lions have injury concerns over Achraf Hakimi and Noussair Mazraoui for the encounter in Doha.

Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku has been back in training as he works his way back from a thigh injury, with head coach Martinez having stated no timeframe has been set on when he might return

Kevin De Bruyne says even if the Red Devils' all-time record goalscorer is only able to take his place on the bench, that would give the squad a lift.

The inspirational midfielder said: "I don’t know how he is, he has been training with us and also apart these days.

"I must admit that he is a player who helps the team a lot, you can feel his presence on the pitch. 

"I don't even know if he will be there against Morocco, but if he were to start from the bench he would be an extra weapon in the game."

Belgium are unbeaten in their four World Cup meetings with African teams and came out on top when the two nations met at the 1994 showpiece, Marc Degryse scoring the only goal of the game.


PLAYERS TO WATCH

Belgium - Michy Batshuayi

In the absence of Lukaku, Batshuayi stepped up to get Belgium off to a winning start as they rode their luck in midweek.

He had five of Belgium’s nine shots and was the only player to register an attempt on goal for the Red Devils before being replaced in the 78th minute.

If Belgium can exert more control on the game, Batshuayi is capable of rewarding them as he should be full of confidence after his decisive strike.

Morocco - Hakim Ziyech

A lack of goals has been a big issue for Morocco in World Cup matches, with the stalemate versus Croatia being the ninth time in 17 games they have failed to find the back of the net.

Hakim Ziyech is one of the players who is capable of getting them firing in Qatar, where he had two shots and created as many chances against Croatia.

The Chelsea winger has shown he can has the quality to produce moments of magic with his wand of a left foot, which Belgium will be wary of.

PREDICTION

Belgium will be expected to make it two wins out of two despite an uninspiring start.

According to Stats Perform's AI model, Martinez's men have a 48.7 per cent chance of securing a record-breaking victory.

Morocco will have seen weaknesses to exploit in that Belgium display against the Canadians and they are rated as having a 26 per cent chance of pulling off a shock victory, with the draw at 25.3 per cent.

John Herdman believes Canada "showed that they do belong" at the World Cup despite losing their opening match 1-0 to Belgium on Wednesday.

Making their World Cup return after a 36-year exodus, Canada dominated the first half and should have gone ahead when they were awarded a penalty after Yannick Carrasco handled Tajon Buchanan's shot.

However, Alphonso Davies saw his spot-kick saved by Thibaut Courtois, before Michy Batshuayi struck Belgium's winner a minute before half-time to ensure Canada's World Cup return ended in defeat.

Despite the disappointing result, Canada's head coach Herdman was pleased with his team's performance after such a long spell away from international football's top competition.

"They showed that they [Canada] do belong," Herdman told reporters in his post-match news conference. "It's been a long time since we've been back.

"The fans tried to warm the stadium and I'm sure they walked away proud that we are a football nation. I'm really proud.

"We had a couple of goals, to play fearless and to entertain. We had other goals but never got to those moments."

Canada finished the game with 22 shots to Belgium's nine, but they only hit the target with three of those as they drew a blank, becoming just the third team in World Cup history to fail to score a goal in their first four matches.

Herdman complimented Belgium's defending, adding: "The stats would say we are a ruthless team, we just couldn't find the net.

"When you have the Real Madrid goalkeeper [Courtois] it makes a difference, when you also have [Toby] Alderweireld, [Jan] Vertonghen, [Leander] Dendoncker, it’s difficult to get through.

"I thought sometimes it was one touch too many around the box, but when you outshoot Belgium you can't complain too much. Sometimes it's your night, and sometimes it's not."

Herdman was asked why Davies, a defender, took the penalty ahead of the likes of striker Jonathan David, who has scored nine goals in 15 games for Ligue 1 side Lille this season, including two penalties.

Herdman defended Davies, saying: "It was a big moment, we were waiting to get that first goal.

"I'm proud of Phonzy [Davies], he's picked the ball up. It's a big moment for any player, carrying the weight of a nation. It takes a special character.

"When you have an $85million player, let him take it. He practices just like Jonny David. Give Courtois credit too, that was some good keeping."

One positive for Canada is that Morocco and Croatia, the other teams in Group F, played out a goalless draw earlier in the day, meaning Herdman's side still have a decent chance of getting through.

With Croatia up next for Canada on Sunday, Herdman acknowledged both the importance and difficulty of that fixture, explaining: "The group is wide open after the Morocco and Croatia result.

"But teams know us now, the cover is off, teams will know what we do and we're coming up against a formidable team in Croatia who have a midfield to die for."

Michy Batshuayi scored the only goal as Belgium scraped past a spirited Canada 1-0 in their 2022 World Cup opener at the Ahmed Bin Ali Stadium.

Leading the line in Romelu Lukaku’s absence, Batshuayi's 44th-minute strike was enough to settle a nervy Group F clash in the Red Devils' favour.

Roberto Martinez's side were grateful to Thibaut Courtois, who saved an early Alphonso Davies penalty, as they generally struggled against the nation ending their 36-year absence from the finals.

Nevertheless, Belgium stretched their group-stage winning streak to eight matches, with no side enjoying a longer run in the competition's history (level with Brazil).

Belgium endured a shaky start against the Canucks, who were awarded a penalty when VAR ruled Yannick Carrasco had handled Tajon Buchanan's shot in the box, but Courtois guessed correctly to keep out Davies' tame spot-kick by diving to his right.

The first coach to guide a nation to both the women's and men's World Cups, John Herdman saw his side continue to carry the greater attacking threat. Alistair Johnston stung Courtois' palms with a fierce strike, while Buchanan and Atiba Hutchinson were off target.

But Belgium snatched the lead against the run of play just before half-time; Batshuayi latching onto Toby Alderweireld's long ball before firing past Milan Borjan.

Though they edged possession, Belgium continued to look off their game as they registered just one shot on target after the break.

Canada looked to capitalise with the introduction of top scorer Cyle Larin, whose header called Courtois into action with 10 minutes remaining, but they were unable to find an equaliser as their opponents held on for a narrow victory.

What does it mean? Belgium struggle against spirited Canada

Although far from their fluent best, Belgium moved to the Group F summit following Croatia's goalless draw with Morocco earlier on.

Despite the defeat, it was a historic day for Canada, who returned to the finals after 36 years away and were unfortunate not to break their duck after Davies' saved penalty.

Meanwhile, captain Hutchinson became the oldest outfield starter in World Cup history – aged 39 years and 288 days.

Batshuayi steps up

With Lukaku's return date uncertain, Batshuayi stepped up to the plate with his 27th international goal in 49 caps – moving him joint-sixth with Joseph Mermans on his country's all-time list.

The Fenerbahce forward's well-taken strike came from one of five shots on goal – a tally only bettered on the night by Canada's Jonathan David (six)

History for Courtois

No player has appeared more times for Belgium at a major tournament than Courtois (23, level with Jan Ceulemans).

The Real Madrid goalkeeper also edged closer to becoming the Red Devils' seventh centurion by earning his 98th cap, and he celebrated the milestone with a clean sheet, as well as superb reflexes to deny Davies from the spot.

What's next?

Both sides are back in Group F action on Sunday. Belgium will look to produce an improved performance against Morocco, while Canada cannot afford another defeat against 2018 finalists Croatia.

Michy Batshuayi was poised to complete a move to Fenerbahce on Friday after finding himself frozen out at Chelsea.

The Belgium striker had a successful loan spell with Besiktas last season and was linked with Nottingham Forest this week, before that City Ground switch failed to come to fruition.

It has since emerged he is heading back to Turkey's Super Lig to join Fenerbahce, who announced his impending arrival.

Fenerbahce – fierce rivals of Besiktas – said in a statement: "Our club has reached an agreement with his club for the transfer of Michy Batshuayi to our team.

"The footballer is coming to Istanbul to conduct negotiations, undergo a medical checkup and continue the process."

Batshuayi will be seeking regular club football to ensure he is in optimum shape in time for the World Cup in Qatar in November.

With a year remaining on his Chelsea contract, he looked to have no first-team future at Stamford Bridge, particularly after the Premier League club brought in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Barcelona on Thursday.

Batshuayi has been a Chelsea player since 2016 but has started just five Premier League games for the Blues, while making 45 appearances off the bench in the competition.

He scored eight goals in the league for Chelsea but has not featured since the 2019-20 season, being farmed out on loan to Borussia Dortmund, Valencia, Crystal Palace and latterly Besiktas.

With his contract at Chelsea due to expire next June, a fresh started awaited the 28-year-old former Marseille player as he headed back to Turkey to put the finishing touches to his latest move.

Billy Gilmour and Ross Barkley are among Chelsea stars who face an uncertain first-team future after being left off the club's squad number list for the new season.

The midfield pair, full internationals for Scotland and England respectively, were joined by the likes of Ethan Ampadu, Kenedy and Michy Batshuayi in being omitted.

Gilmour, an unused substitute in the 2021 Champions League final, was loaned out to Norwich City last season. The 21-year-old's Chelsea contract was then extended in June of this year to run until the end of the 2023-24 season.

His and 28-year-old Barkley's first-team prospects at least for the near future look bleak. That was made all the more obvious when the Blues brought in teenage midfielder Carney Chukwuemeka this week, handing the number 30 shirt to the England Under-19 international.

The return of Conor Gallagher from his successful loan at Crystal Palace also means he jumps the midfield queue at Stamford Bridge, taking the number 23 jersey.

Ampadu, 21, has barely been a factor in Chelsea's first-team considerations in recent seasons, with the Wales international having loan spells with RB Leipzig, Sheffield United and Venezia.

With Wales qualifying for Qatar 2022, ending a 64-year wait for a World Cup appearance, Ampadu will be eager to see first-team action before November, and that does not look likely at Chelsea.

Belgium striker Batshuayi will also be wanting to play regularly before that tournament, with he and Kenedy looking ripe for loan exits before the transfer window closes on September 1.

Highly rated centre-back Levi Colwill was also absent from the list, which was published on Thursday, although he reportedly could form part of a deal to bring Marc Cucurella to Chelsea from Brighton and Hove Albion.

It was already known that new recruits Raheem Sterling and Kalidou Koulibaly would take numbers 17 and 26 respectively, with both poised to be fixtures in Thomas Tuchel's team.

Albanian striker Armando Broja, back from a loan at Southampton, is handed number 18, with the number nine shirt as yet unclaimed after Romelu Lukaku was loaned to Inter.

Chelsea were linked at one stage in the close season with Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United, while more recent speculation has suggested they could be keen on Barcelona's former Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Tuchel's side begin their Premier League campaign away to Blues hero Frank Lampard's Everton on Saturday.

Timo Werner has only managed 23 goals in his first two seasons with Chelsea after joining from Leipzig in mid-2020.

The new Blues owners are open to allowing Werner, who signed on a five-year contract, to depart on loan.

The 26-year-old scored 95 goals in 159 appearances with Leipzig from 2016 to 2020.

TOP STORY – LEIPZIG LEAD RACE FOR CHELSEA'S WERNER

Leipzig are leading the race to sign Chelsea striker Werner ahead of Juventus, claims Fabrizio Romano.

The Bundesliga club met with Chelsea on Sunday, proposing a swap deal for Werner, who is Leipzig's main target.

Juventus and Newcastle United have also shown an interest in the Germany international. 

ROUND-UP

Barcelona are considering a move for Leipzig defender Angelino should they miss out on Chelsea full-back Marcos Alonso, claims Diario Sport.

Everton could make a move for forgotten Chelsea forward Michy Batshuayi, according to talkSPORT. The Toffees lost Richarlison to Tottenham last month and will turn to Batshuayi, who scored 14 goals on loan at Besiktas last season.

– Portuguese forward Diogo Jota is set to be rewarded for his strong second season at Anfield, with Liverpool to offer him a lucrative pay rise as part of a new deal, despite having three years to run on his contract, claims The Telegraph.

Napoli and Chelsea are in talks on a loan deal for Spanish goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, according to Sky Sports.

– Football Insider reports that Leicester City have informed Newcastle that midfielder James Maddison will cost them £60million as they circle for his signature.

– Leicester City are set to farewell goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel,  who is on the cusp of joining French Ligue 1 club Nice, reports the Mail.

Real Madrid are the latest side to enquire about the availability of 20-year-old Chelsea striker Armando Broja, but the Premier League club are maintaining that he is not for sale.

The Albania international has been the subject of significant interest after a successful loan spell at Southampton last season, netting nine goals in 38 appearances.

Chelsea reportedly turned down a £30million offer from West Ham for Broja, and although Thomas Tuchel is said to be a fan, Madrid are eager to land the youngster.

 

TOP STORY – CHELSEA'S RISING ALBANIAN DRAWS REAL MADRID'S INTEREST

Since Romelu Lukaku departed from Chelsea on a season-long loan to Inter, questions have been asked about what the London club's plans are to bolster their attack.

The Evening Standard's report claims Carlo Ancelotti is on the hunt for young strikers to find a potential successor to 35-year-old Karim Benzema, although with Timo Werner potentially on his way back to RB Leipzig, Chelsea may have simply decided that Broja must stay.

West Ham have also reportedly not been driven away yet and remain interested, as do Everton and Newcastle United.

 

ROUND-UP

– According to Bild, Bayern Munich full-back Benjamin Pavard would be willing to join Chelsea if they make a serious offer.

– The Telegraph is reporting RB Salzburg want £55m for 19-year-old Slovenian striker Benjamin Sesko, who is a Manchester United target, according to Manchester Evening News.

– Sky Sports Italia claims Juventus would like to acquire Barcelona forward Memphis Depay on loan, however the Catalan giants wants to make it a permanent deal.

– 90min say Everton are in advanced discussions with Chelsea to bring Ross Barkley back to the club, and they also have interest in Michy Batshuayi and Billy Gilmour.

– According to Talksport, West Ham are willing to meet the £17.5m release clause for 25-year-old Burnley winger Maxwel Cornet.

Michy Batshuayi's first-half goal helped Belgium to a 1-0 win over Poland, keeping the Red Devils in with a chance of reaching the Nations League Finals.

Less than a week after scoring five second-half goals in a 6-1 thrashing of Poland, Roberto Martinez's side were without several star names including Thibaut Courtois, Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku for the return fixture.

But Belgium were mostly comfortable after Batshuayi nodded them into an early lead, with Nicola Zalewski and Karol Swiderski squandering Poland's best chances to equalise.

Martinez's team trail the Netherlands by three points with two group-stage contests remaining, meaning the two rivals could be set for a straight shoot-out for qualification when they meet in September.

Wojciech Szczesny raced off his line to deny Thorgan Hazard early on, but he was helpless when Batshuayi headed Belgium into a 16th-minute lead, the Chelsea man stooping to divert Youri Tielemans' cross into bottom-right corner.

Sebastian Szymanski sent a wild volley over from a good position after half an hour, before Eden Hazard was flagged offside having beaten Szczesny with a deft chip after racing onto Batshuayi's pass.

Although Belgium dominated much of the opening period, Zalewski went agonisingly close to levelling shortly before the break when he volleyed Robert Lewandowski's right-wing cross narrowly wide.

Thorgan Hazard almost doubled Belgium's lead when he sent a low strike wide of the left-hand post after 52 minutes, before Jan Vertonghen saw a driven cross deflected just wide of the bottom-left corner.

Swiderski twice went close to a dramatic equaliser when he forced Simon Mignolet into an acrobatic save before clipping the post with a deft header, but Belgium held on for their second Nations League win of the campaign.

What does it mean? Belgium keep Netherlands in their sights

Having been thrashed 4-1 by the Netherlands during their Nations League opener earlier this month and dropped points in a 1-1 draw with Wales last week, Martinez's men needed a victory to stay in touch with their neighbours at the top of Group A4.

Having prevented Poland from mustering a shot on target until the 87th minute, Belgium deserved a victory which keeps them in with a chance of overhauling Louis van Gaal's men to qualify for next year's finals.

Brilliant Batshuayi maintains hot streak

While Batshuayi - who has been sent out on loan five times since joining Chelsea in 2016 - has struggled for consistency at club level, the Nations League is quickly becoming his favourite competition.

Batshuayi has now contributed to eight goals in the Nations League overall, a tally only bettered by Lukaku (11), and has registered two goals and two assists in his four appearances in the 2022-23 edition.  

Lacklustre Lewandowski struggles 

Despite missing several of their star players, Belgium produced a disciplined defensive performance to complete a double over Czeslaw Michniewicz's team, keeping Lewandowski's influence to a minimum.

The wantaway Bayern Munich man managed the joint-fewest touches of any player the pitch in the first half (13), and over the course of the match, attempted just one shot.

What's next?

Belgium's next outing is a home Nations League clash with Wales on September 22, while Poland host the Netherlands on the same day.

Atletico Madrid are hoping to recover from losing to Liverpool on matchday three with a repeat of their Anfield heroics last March.

Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City will look to take bigger steps towards the last 16, while Real Madrid will go in search of another big win against Shakhtar Donetsk.

Inter can put themselves in a good position to progress, too, although city rivals Milan have got much more of a fight on their hands.

Here are some of the key Opta facts for Wednesday's Champions League matches...

 

Liverpool v Atletico Madrid: Can Suarez improve rotten recent record?

Atletico were winners at Anfield on their last visit as they claimed a 3-2 victory in the last-16 second leg in March 2020. Indeed, Liverpool have only twice beaten Spanish teams at home in 13 attempts in the European Cup and Champions League.

That said, the Marcos Llorente-inspired game last year was one of only two out of 22 at home that Jurgen Klopp has lost in this competition as Reds manager, while Diego Simeone is chasing what would only be the second instance of a third successive away win in the tournament with Atleti.

Luis Suarez will hope to haunt his old side, although recent history is against him: he's only scored one for Atleti in nine Champions League games, and none from open play. Mohamed Salah, meanwhile, needs one more goal to equal Steven Gerrard as Liverpool's top scorer in the competition at Anfield (14).

Manchester City v Club Brugge: Bad omens for Belgian champions

City's 5-1 triumph in Bruges on matchday three took their tally to six wins in seven European games against Belgian opposition, while Brugge are now without a victory over English teams in 13 attempts dating back to February 1995.

Since Pep Guardiola took charge, City have won 80 per cent (20 out of 25) of home Champions League matches, which is the best record for a coach at a single club in the competition among those to take charge of 20 or more. A first win on English soil for Brugge looks unlikely.

Might this be a chance for Raheem Sterling to impress? The England forward has been directly involved in 24 goals in 27 home Champions League games for City, a tally surpassed only by Sergio Aguero (27).

 

RB Leipzig v Paris Saint-Germain: Nkunku could outshine Messi

PSG have only lost one of their past nine away games in the group stage, but that defeat was against RB Leipzig last season. It was the only time in the previous seven meetings with French sides that Leipzig emerged victorious.

He might be enduring a difficult time in Ligue 1, but Lionel Messi has managed three goals in three games in Europe for PSG. His double in the reverse fixture was his 34th in the competition, something only Cristiano Ronaldo (37) can better.

However, perhaps the most in-form player in 2021-22 is Leipzig's Christopher Nkunku, who has been involved in the most open-play sequences ending in a goal (six) among Champions League midfielders this season. And he has four goals of his own from the first three matches.

Real Madrid v Shakhtar Donetsk: Another big win on the cards with Benzema

Madrid's 5-0 win over Shakhtar on matchday three means the past five meetings between these teams have seen an average of 4.6 goals scored per game. In fact, Los Blancos have scored 15 times in five Champions League matches against Shakhtar: that average of three per game is their best figure against a side they have faced on at least five occasions, apart from Galatasaray (3.4 per game).

Shakhtar are one of just three sides yet to score in this season's group stage, but with Madrid having lost three of their previous eight home games in the competition, this could be a good opportunity.

They will need to stop Karim Benzema and Vinicius Junior, though: they are the two players with the most involvements in shot-ending sequences in 2021-22 (31 and 34, respectively). Plus, Benzema is on a run of 10 goals in 10 home games in the competition.

 

Sheriff v Inter: Nothing shot-shy about Inzaghi's men

Inter ended Sheriff's 11-game unbeaten run in Europe last time out and will now look to secure consecutive Champions League victories for the first time since October 2018.

The Nerazzurri have lost just once in their previous five Champions League away matches, but Sheriff are unbeaten in their most recent five European games on home soil, excluding qualifiers. They've also won the past two.

Inter certainly have the variety to break down Sheriff's stubborn defence. Each of their previous 17 away goals in the competition have come from open play, while their 29 shots in the meeting on matchday three were the most by an Italian side in a Champions League game since at least 2003-04.

Other fixtures:

Borussia Dortmund v Ajax

45 – Ajax's 4-0 win over Dortmund last time out was the biggest victory by a Dutch side over a German team in Europe since November 1976, when Feyenoord defeated Kaiserslautern 5-0 in the UEFA Cup.

8 – Sebastien Haller has been directly involved in more Champions League goals this season than any other player (eight – six goals, two assists). Among debutants in the competition since 2003-04, this is the highest such figure over a player's first four appearances and one more than Erling Haaland managed.

Milan v Porto

3 – Milan are one of just four sides this season to have lost all three group games. They are on a five-game losing run in the competition, the worst such streak in their history.

1 – Since scoring four for Chelsea against Sevilla in December 2020, Olivier Giroud has scored only once in 250 minutes of play in the Champions League.

Sporting CP v Besiktas

5 – Paulinho has been directly involved in three of Sporting's five goals (two scored, one assisted) in this season's Champions League. Their last player to manage more goals and assists combined in a single season was Nani in 2014-15 (six).

10 – Michy Batshuayi has attempted 10 shots for Besiktas in the Champions League in 2021-22 without scoring. Over the first three matchdays, only Inter's Lautaro Martinez (12) had more shots without finding the net.

Michy Batshuayi has extended his Chelsea contract until 2023 and joined Besiktas on loan for the 2021-22 campaign.

Batshuayi, who joined the Blues in 2016, has spent much of his time at Chelsea out on loan.

He thrived with Borussia Dortmund in 2018, though struggled at Valencia the following season, switching to Crystal Palace on a temporary basis for the back half of 2018-19.

The Belgium forward was a target for Palace in the following transfer window, but remained at Chelsea. He made 24 appearances, though few of them were starts, scoring seven goals.

Batshuayi did return to Selhurst Park last season, though scored just two goals from 18 Premier League appearances for the Eagles.

The 27-year-old had entered the final year of his Chelsea deal, but that has now been renewed, with an immediate season-long loan to Turkish champions Besiktas confirmed on Wednesday.

"Very very happy to join Besiktas," Batshuayi, who received a huge welcome when he landed in Istanbul, tweeted.

"An incredible opportunity for me and I'm already looking to play. Thank you to all the fans for the crazy welcome at Istanbul. See you at the stadium very soon."

Batshuayi slipped further down the pecking order at Chelsea upon the arrival of his compatriot Romelu Lukaku, who re-joined the European Champions in a reported £97.5million (€115m) deal from Serie A champions Inter last week.

He is the third centre-forward to leave the club this transfer window, with Chelsea having sold Olivier Giroud to Milan, while Tammy Abraham was unveiled as a Roma player on Tuesday.

Thomas Tuchel still has plenty of high-quality attacking options at his disposal, with Lukaku spearheading a forward line that also includes Timo Werner, Kai Havertz and Christian Pulisic, with support provided from midfielders Mason Mount, Hakim Ziyech and Callum Hudson-Odoi.

Leandro Trossard and Hans Vanaken scored twice as Belgium eased past Belarus 8-0 to move to the top of their World Cup 2022 qualifying group in style.

Belgium fell behind in their first two Group E games - a 3-1 win comeback win over Wales and 1-1 draw with Czech Republic - but were four goals ahead at half-time on Tuesday.

Michy Batshuayi opened the scoring for Belgium after 14 minutes at Den Dreef in Leuven in the absence of the rested Romelu Lukaku and Vanaken added a quickfire second for the home side.

Trossard and Jeremy Doku were also on the scoresheet before half-time and further strikes followed after the interval from Dennis Praet and Christian Benteke, before Trossard and Vanaken completed the rout - Belarus' heaviest-ever loss.

Batshuayi failed to beat Aleksandr Gutor from close range early on but he made amends by picking out the roof of the net from a tight angle from the next chance that fell his way.

Vanaken doubled Belgium's lead three minutes later with a thumping volley from six yards and Trossard sent a glorious third into the top-left corner from long range.

Martinez's men were home and dry before the interval as Doku beat Gutor with a well-taken strike after being played in by Praet.

Praet went from provider to goalscorer four minutes into the second half with a precise drive from outside the box to join Vanaken and Trossard in scoring his first senior international goal.

Belgium squandered some presentable opportunities before Benteke guided Toby Alderweireld's cross into the bottom-right corner with a crisp first-time finish for a sixth goal. 

Vanaken was somehow denied his second by a Gutor save on the line, but he would go on to round off the scoring late on after Trossard had doubled his own tally with a shot through the legs of the Belarus goalkeeper.

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