From Jan Vertonghen to Romelu Lukaku, it’s fair to say that the Premier League is littered with top Belgian footballing talent, but one man many still overlook is Simon Mignolet….until now.
The former Sunderland stopper may already rank in the top ten most expensive goalkeepers of all time following his £9 million summer move to Liverpool but this week he could take centre stage for Belgium in their friendly with highly-rated Colombia.
With national team manager Marc Wilmots confirming his intention to start the 25-year-old against the Cafeteros, odds of 13/10 on the goalkeeper claiming a clean sheet on international duty could prove tempting.
Chelsea’s Thibaut Courtois, who is on loan at Atletico Madrid this season, is the current number one between the sticks for the Diables Rouges, playing throughout their successful World Cup qualifying campaign, which ended with the national side reaching the finals for the first time since 2002.
His success may have seen a reduction in playing time at international level for Mignolet, but with Wilmots keen to experiment with different options ahead of next summer’s trip to Brazil, this could be his chance to impress.
And given the form he has shown since moving to Anfield, there’s every reason to suggest he can do just that, with the Liverpool man keeping an impressive three clean sheets in his opening three Premier League appearances for the club this term.
Colombia, meanwhile, will head to Brussels off the back of a gruelling 18-game qualification campaign that went down to the second-to-last match with Chile.
Star striker Radamel Falcao may also be used sparingly, having featured heavily for Ligue 1-chasing AS Monaco, who will be keen to ensure he gets through what is ultimately a meaningless friendly unscathed.
Much of the Colombia team looks settled ahead of the 2014 World Cup, but with an abundance of attacking options at Wilmots’ disposal, a fine showing against the South Americans could put fringe stars like Kevin De Bruyne well and truly in the frame for a place in the squad.
With Mignolet out to impress alongside his teammates, odds of 2/1 on Belgium to win to nil are too good to ignore.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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