John Herdman confirms Canada is fully healthy for opening game against Belgium

CanMNT Head Coach John Herdman on June 9, 2022

On Tuesday on MD-1 Canada got some positive news from John Herdman as he confirmed his whole team will be available on Wednesday against Belgium.

John Herdman confirms Canada is healthy against Belgium

In a rare dramatic fashion, Canada showed up 40 minutes late for its MD-1 press conference at the International Broadcast Center in Qatar but once Herdman spoke it was all positive. The big news is Alphonso Davies will play after mentioning it in a one-on-one with James Duthie of TSN earlier in the week.

“Canada are now in a position where we can field our strong team.” Herdman said. “Everyone has come through well so it’s exciting times as the dark clouds have shifted and this will be our last training session where we will be 100 percent.”

Herdman was thrilled when he was asked about Davies hitting his top speed, which was a key factor in deciding when he could return to the lineup.

“He has just started to his top speed and that last full out sprint and I think the positive pyschology always helps injuries heal a bit quicker so it’s good and it was clear he wanted to play and even our medical team wanted him to play but just wanted to do their final due diligence to get to top speed and hit that so that was brilliant.”

Atiba Hutchinson has been a great leader on this and a veteran who also battled through injury and spoke about the expectations facing a side like Belgium.

“Our expectations are just going out there,” he said. “We want to compete and win every single match we play and we have a very strong team and a lot of good players and we are going to do what we have been doing and it’s going to be a battle in every game we play and we are going to fight and show our brotherhood.”

READ MORE: The 2022 CanMNT World Cup Preview: Looking to Make History

Roberto Martinez on facing the CanMNT and where to watch the game

As for the Belgian side, Roberto Martinez confirmed everyone but Romelu Lukaku will be ready and available as he confirmed that Lukaku will be out for at least the first two games. Eden Hazard who has only played three games this year for Real Madrid will wear the captain’s armband.

“When he is with Belgium it’s a completely different environment,” Martinez said. “He is our captain and someone that we know really well and we are a better team when Eden Hazard is in our dressing room that’s for sure.”

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The game is scheduled to be played at the Ahmed bin Ali Stadium with a kickoff time of 2:00 PM ET and can be seen in Canada on TSN and CTV. It will also be televised live on RDS in Quebec. This will be Canada’s first FIFA World Cup appearance since 1986. While Canada made a good impression on that world stage, it will be looking to make history. This can be earning their first-ever point in a FIFA World Cup and/or scoring their first goal in its national team’s history.

Canada will look to stun Belgium as the CanMNT did against Japan on November 17. These two teams only met each other once before in 1989, when the Red Devils won over the CanMNT by a score of 2-0.