Ugbo: Davies, Eustaquio Look Sharp Ahead Of Belgium Clash
Canadian striker Ike Ugbo spoke some calming words to Canadian national team fans today, telling media in Doha that both Alphonso Davies and Stephen Eustaquio are looking ‘like their normal selves, sharp and ready’.
A follow-up tweet from Portland Thorns stalwart Janine Beckie, who is covering the World Cup on behalf of TSN, seems to confirm that both integral players will be available and likely starters for Canada’s World Cup introductory clash against Belgium.
Canada head coach John Herdman had put some doubt into how available both athletes would be, with some suggesting that he had already begun to play mind games ahead of the country’s first World Cup tournament since 1986.
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Yesterday saw Alphonso Davies inform TSN that he felt ready to go against Belgium, dampening fears that his hamstring injury picked up whilst on duty with Bayern Munich would sideline him for Les Rouges‘ big opening match.
Eustaquio had been listed on the matchday roster for an earlier friendly against Japan, but the Porto midfielder was removed from the roster just before kickoff in what was called a precautionary measure. Today’s words from Ugbo imply that Stephen Eustaquio will be fit and available on Wednesday, too.
Given his recent goalscoring form at the club level, that’s a big boost against a Belgium side that have ruled out Romelu Lukaku’s involvement in the tilt.
Canada’s World Cup preparations included a draw against Bahrain with primarily North American based players, with a more regular national team squad besting Japan 2-1.