(WVUE) - With the 2018 World Cup on FOX 8 kicking off June 14th from Russia, we are previewing ten storylines that are worth keeping an eye on as the tournament goes on.
#5 - Belgium's Golden Age – If you're looking for an American sports equivalent to Belgium, then perhaps imagine Chris Paul joining the Toronto Raptors; always full of talent and promise but never able to really capitalize in the postseason.
Belgium has been trotting out a starting eleven full of elite talent the last two major tournaments but managed to only reach the quarterfinals in World Cup 2014 and Euro Cup 2016. Premier League followers will recognize two key contributors to the last two league champions in Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) and Eden Hazard (Chelsea.)
Hazard and Manchester United's Romelu Lukaku both have unique opportunities ahead if their brothers can find a way into the squad. Thorgan Hazard (Borussia Moenchengladbach) is part of the initial 23-man roster but is not expected to be a significant contributor while Jordan Lukaku (Lazio) is a reserve on standby.
The Red Devils' star power doesn't stop on the pitch, manager Roberto Martinez was last at Everton and has frequently appeared on American television as an analyst.
As young and promising as this team was four years ago, pressure is now on as the aforementioned stars will be on the back end of their primes come the next World Cup so pressure is on to produce now.
FOX 8 will broadcast 38 games from Russia, from first kick to final trophy presentation. The first five games on FOX 8 are:
Thursday, June 14th at 10 AM – Russia vs Saudi Arabia
Friday, June 15th at 10 AM – Morocco vs Iran
Friday, June 15th at 1 PM – Portugal vs Spain
Saturday, June 16th at 10 AM – Argentina vs Iceland
Sunday, June 17th at 7 AM – Costa Rica vs Serbia