Belgium rests stars for games against Ireland, Burkina Faso

Belgium will rest top players like Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku for friendly matches against Ireland and Burkina Faso.

Roberto Martinez said his selections Friday were focused on players with fewer than 50 international appearances, such as surprise Belgian leader Union Saint-Gilloise teammates Siebe Van der Heyden and Dante Vanzeir.

Van der Heyden, a defender, has never played for the national team while Vanzeir, a winger, has made one appearance for Belgium.

Albert Sambi Lokonga, a 22-year-old Arsenal midfielder, could make his second appearance. Wout Faes and Thomas Kaminski will look to make their debuts.

Belgium, which has qualified for the World Cup in Qatar, will play in Dublin on March 26 and host Burkina Faso three days later.

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Goalkeepers: Koen Casteels (Wolfsburg), Thomas Kaminski (Blackburn), Simon Mignolet (Club Brugge), Matz Sels (Strasbourg)

Defenders: Sebastiaan Bornauw (Wolfsburg), Dedryck Boyata (Hertha Berlin), Jason Denayer (Lyon), Wout Faes (Reims), Arthur Theate (Bologna), Siebe Van der Heyden (Union Saint-Gilloise), Thomas Foket (Reims), Thorgan Hazard (Borussia Dortmund), Alexis Saelemaekers (AC Milan)

Midfielders: Leander Dendoncker (Wolverhampton), Albert Sambi Lokonga (Arsenal), Orel Mangala (Stuttgart), Youri Tielemans (Leicester), Hans Vanaken (Club Brugge)

Forwards: Michy Batshuayi (Besitkas), Christian Benteke (Crystal Palace), Charles De Ketelaere (Club Brugge), Jeremy Doku (Rennes), Adnan Januzaj (Real Sociedad), Divock Origi (Liverpool), Leandro Trossard (Brighton), Yari Verschaeren (Anderlecht), Dante Vanzeir (Union Saint-Gilloise)

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