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Manchester United’s shining light boosts Belgium’s World Cup bid

| 24.04.2014

Well-fancied 2014 World Cup dark horse Belgium received another boost to their 16/1 chance of lifting the trophy for the first time, after top Manchester United prospect Adnan Januzaj finally declared for the country of his birth.

He’s now 2/5 to make Wilmots’ 23-man touring party to Brazil and 7/4 to miss out, with Ladbrokes going 8/11 on the flashy forward finding the net in South America.

Januzaj burst on to the Old Trafford scene at the start of this season under David Moyes, eventually earning a five-year contract at the club, and the young forward’s interesting lineage prompted what will now be seen as a phony war between numerous countries over his international future.

Serbia, Albania, Kosovo, Turkey and England were all said to have made enquiries regarding the 19-year-old’s allegiances, with Januzaj qualifying for the Three Lions on residency grounds and thought to be eligible by Euro 2016.

However, that quintet’s hopes of securing the services of the Brussels native were dashed by Wilmots’ tweet that Januzaj has made himself available for the Red Devils (the nickname of both Belgium and Man Utd).

While it is true that Moyes handed the teenager his full United debut in August’s 2-0 Charity Shield win against Wigan, the Scot became ever more reluctant to play him as the season wore on, with Januzaj starting just one of the soon-to-be-deposed champions’ 10 Champions League matches.

The 51-year-old’s departure may therefore be seen as a relief by the former Anderlecht youth, who hasn’t made the teamsheet for any of his side’s last eight fixtures.

Interim coach Ryan Giggs is said to have declared during his first team talk that his side must ‘go back to playing like Manchester United’, so Januzaj could be in line for a return to the first XI against Norwich, who are 7/1 to inflict a seventh home Premier League loss for the season on their hosts.

Giggs’ men are 4/11 to restore some lost pride with a win and the draw is 4/1, with Januzaj 11/5 to score his fifth goal for the club at any point in the 90.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Alex Fortune