World Cup qualifying news

Marouane Fellaini to play for Belgium

October 7, 2013
By ESPN staff

Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini is set to play for Belgium despite carrying a wrist injury.

Marouane Fellaini debut alternative Man Utd v Palace
GettyImagesFellaini was United's only major summer signing.

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Fellaini missed United's 2-1 win at Sunderland on Saturday after suffering the problem in the 1-1 Champions League draw at Shakhtar Donestk.

Speaking after the win at the Stadium of Light, United manager David Moyes said: "He's got a wrist injury. He's going to see a specialist. It doesn't sound too good, but we'll wait and find out on Monday."

But on Tuesday afternoon, an article on United's official website said: "Marouane Fellaini has trained with Belgium wearing a protective cast on his injured wrist.

"Although some reports suggest the midfielder faces an operation and a spell on the sidelines, the deadline-day arrival is due to play in a splint against Croatia and Wales in the World Cup qualifiers."

Belgium coach Marc Wilmots had earlier said he expected Fellaini feature in the crucial games, though United refuted his claims about surgery.

"Marouane Fellaini should be able to play for Belgium against Croatia in Zagreb on Friday," he told a news conference. "Marouane has suffered wrist ligament injury and will have to undergo surgery. He will join the squad and train on Tuesday with a splint.

"As far as I am concerned, in principle he is able to play on Friday. This does not mean that he will automatically play. I have not heard from Manchester United asking that the operation should be [carried out] as quickly as possible."

Meanwhile, Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke could be fit to face Wales the following Tuesday, despite not being expected to recover from a hip injury in time to feature for Belgium.

When asked about Benteke, Villa boss Paul Lambert said: "I trust Christian to do the right thing. He is probably stuck in the middle right now.

"But I've had a good chat with him and he will know himself what is the right thing for him to do. I trust him. But I won't be happy if he plays for Belgium and comes back to me injured."

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