Celtic defender Dedryck Boyata could play a greater part in Belgium’s final 2018 World Cup qualifiers after Manchester City’s Vincent Kompany pulled out of the squad.
Roberto Martinez’s side will face Bosnia & Herzegovina and Cyprus in the final two matches, but Kompany - who hasn’t featured for City since picking up a calf injury on international duty in August - won’t feature for the Red Devils.
Martinez said: “Vincent Kompany hasn’t been in the squad and hasn’t been able to join in with the activity of the first team.
“So, it was clear that he wasn’t going to make it for these games.”
Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen has also been assessed for a knock but is expected to be fit.
However, with Belgium already qualified for Russia 2018, there is a possibility that Martinez could give some of his fringe players a chance, increasing Boyata’s chances of a starting berth.
Boyata has had limited gametime with the national side, and is yet to start for his country.
He played 44 minutes in Belgium’s 4-4 draw with Austria during qualifying for Euro 2012 as a second half sub for Toby Alderweireld, came on as a 90th minute substitute for Thomas Vermaelen in a 3-3 draw with Russia, and replaced Jason Denayer after 86 minutes in a 2-1 win over Portugal.