Mbo Mpenza and Gaetan Englebert have been sent home from the Belgium squad ahead of the forthcoming EURO 2004™ qualifying games in Andorra on Saturday and in Estonia the following Wednesday because of injury. VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach forward, Peter Van Houdt, has been called up as a replacement.
Mpenza, the R. Excelsior Mouscron forward, has been suffering from a knee injury that he picked up in the UEFA Cup defeat to SK Slavia Praha last week. He was unavailable for Saturday's first division match against Club Brugge KV but still joined up with the Belgium squad. However, coach Aimé Anthuenis has decided that he should recuperate with his club in the hope he be fit for next Wednesday, although that is looking unlikely.
Englebert, the Brugge midfield player, has a broken bone in his foot but has been playing through the pain with the help of injections. It is hoped that after some rest he will be able to feature at some stage over the two matches.
Defeat to Bulgaria
The injuries are a further blow to Anthuenis who is already without Mpenza's brother Emile, who is also a striker, because of a thigh problem. The pressure is also on Belgium to get their qualifying campaign back on track following their 2-0 home defeat to Bulgaria in their first game.
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