Merseyside pair v Aston Villa - fan poll decides which strikers should start for Belgium

A poll in the Belgian media has asked fans to decide who should start for the Red Devils.

Belgium face Cyprus and Israel in their next two fixtures, and a poll run by HLN has asked fans to name who they want to see up front.

The two games will be held at the end of March, as the Red Devils look to ease their path to qualification to the 2016 European Championship by defeating two teams who sit above them. Currently on five points, Belgium are fourth in Group B, one point behind Cyprus and four behind Israel. However, one would expect them to pick up at least four points from the two fixtures to restore the Red Devils' qualification hopes.

Whilst much of the Belgium first-team picks itself, with Eden Hazard, Vincent Kompany and Axel Witsel all consistent names in Marc Wilmots’ starting XI, he will be faced with something of a dilemma for the next round of fixtures - with no clear choice of which strikers to name.

Everton’s Romelu Lukaku, Liverpool’s on-loan Divock Origi, and Aston Villa’s Christian Benteke are the three main choices who will be considered, but there is no real standout performer to claim their place in the starting XI.

Lukaku is the best performing of all three, with 13 goals in 35 games for the Toffees this term, but his appearances have not come close to those shown during the last campaign. Tiredness appears to be affecting the young striker, and it would come as no surprise to see him burn out before the end of the season.

Benteke is the second best choice in terms of goal return, with four in 21 games for Villa, although he has been playing in a side who have lacked attacking efficiency for the entire season. He has failed to reach the heights of his debut season in England following a serious injury, although he is now finding some consistency to his play, and one would hope that Tim Sherwood gets the best out of him as he attempts to fight off relegation with the Birmingham-based club.

The final choice is Divock Origi, who Liverpool signed over the summer before immediately loaning back to Lille. He also has four goals this season, but has not found the back of the net since October, and his performance reviews have been less than complimentary.

All three will undoubtedly be called up to Wilmots’ squad for the qualifying fixtures, and HLN asked fans to vote on who should be the starting striker. Due to his goal return, it is no surprise that Lukaku has been the main choice, with 48% of people wanting to see the Everton star lead the line. Benteke took just 8% of the vote, although it was a surprise to see the misfiring Origi claim a backing of 23% - a large percentage despite his obvious deficiencies.

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