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Knee injury a blow to Belgium, a particularly intriguing team in this World Cup qualifying cycle

Everton v Southampton - Premier League

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 29: Marouane Fellaini of Everton shields the ball from Steven Davis of Southampton during the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and Southampton at Goodison Park on September 29, 2012 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

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Belgium looks like an intriguing team out of Europe for 2014 World Cup qualifying.

With Thomas Vermaelen and Vincent Kompany on patrol in the back, we would be hard pressed to identify too many better central combos.

Eden Hazard, just 21, has quickly established himself as one of the Premiership’s top young guns. Chelsea is happy to have landed the spry attacker in the summer.

The side has exciting young strikers, not to mention Marouane Fellaini behind them –and the king of all “hair boys” in Britain is having a wonderful campaign at Everton.

So, all that has made Belgium – not exactly a whale, but a bigger player in the world game back in the day – the Group A favorite ahead of Croatia, Serbia, Scotland, Macedonia and Wales.

So, the injury blow to Fellaini lands at a very bad time. The big midfielder will miss 3-4 weeks with a knee injury collected last week against Wigan. That rules him out for Belgium’s upcoming tests against Serbia and Scotland.