Arsenal defender replaces dropped Tottenham star, while Man United flop is also promoted to the starting XI.
Belgium have included six Premier League players in their starting XI for this evening’s Group H clash with Russia at the FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois is between the sticks for Marc Wilmots’ side, while Romelu Lukaku leads the attacking line, supported by wing wizard Eden Hazard.
Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany partners free agent Daniel Van Buyten in central defence, while Arsenal’s Thomas Vermaelen and Atletico Madrid’s Toby Alderweireld will play as full-backs.
Tottenham Hotspur defender Jan Vertonghen has been dropped to the bench after giving away a penalty kick in Tuesday’s 2-1 win over Algeria.
Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini began the Algeria game as a substitute, before coming on in the second half to score an equaliser for his side. He is rewarded by a place in the starting XI.
Russia manager Fabio Capello has demoted former Chelsea man Yuri Zhirkov to the bench following his disappointing display during their 1-1 draw with South Korea.
CSKA Moscow goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev made a bad error to gift Korea the lead, but he survives the chop and keeps his place in the starting team.
Belgium starting XI: Courtois, Alderweireld, Van Buyten, Kompany, Vermaelen, Witsel, Fellaini, De Bruyne, Hazard, Mertens, Lukaku.
Russia starting XI: Akinfeev, Kombarov, Berezutskiy, Ignashevich, Glushakov, Kokorin, Shatov, Samedov, Fayzulin, Kozlov, Kanunnikov.