Football / World Cup USA '94: Belgium want top spot

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The Independent Online
BELGIUM'S priority against their unfamiliar opponents, Saudi Arabia, tomorrow is to secure at least a draw to ensure their second- round match in the World Cup is at their favoured Florida base.

Paul Van Himst, the Belgium coach whose team have won their first two Group F matches in Orlando, where they have acclimatised, said: 'We still need a point to be first in the group. It would be a shame to waste the chance. We've been here two weeks and we all want to stay here.' But after victory over the Netherlands last Saturday, Belgium step into the unknown when they play Saudi Arabia for the first time.

It will also be Belgium's first visit to Washington's RFK Memorial Stadium where the Saudi team gave a surprisingly strong and skilful performance before losing 2-1 to the Dutch.

Belgium have no injury problems and, with a three-point cushion, may use the game as an opportunity to rest players. Van Himst suggested this was likely, without confirming speculation that the central defender Georges Grun or the left wing-back Vital Borkelmans, both of whom have been cautioned, may be left out. Josip Weber also has one caution.

Saudi Arabia have no known injury problems, but will be without their goalscoring midfielder Fuad Amin, who is suspended.

BELGIUM (probable, 5-3-2): Preud'homme (Benfica); Emmers (Anderlecht), Grun (Parma), De Wolf, Albert (both Anderlecht), Borkelmans (Club Bruges); Scifo (Monaco), Van der Elst, Staelens (both Club Bruges); Degryse, Weber (both Anderlecht).

SAUDI ARABIA (probable, 3-1-4-2): Mohammad Al-Deayea (Al Tai); Abdullah Al-Dossari (Al Ittifaq), Mohammad Al-Khilawi, Ahmed Madani (both Al Ittihad); Mohammed Al Jawad; Hamzeh Saleh (both Al Ahli), Fahad Al Bishi (Al Nasr), Khalid Al Muwallid (Al Ahli), Talal Al Jibreen (Al Riyadh); Majid Abdullah Mohammed (Al Nasr), Saeed Owairan (Al Shabab).

Referee: H Krug (Germany).