Following some highly uninspired matches, Walter Meeuws had been sacked as manager for Belgium, only months into his reign. When it didn’t work too well with Meeuews, Belgium could have wished for no better replacement than his predecessor Guy Thys, who had overseen some of the finest moments in the history of the national team (1976–1989).

Thys is not only a very experienced head, but largely disposes of the same team that had served him so well in Mexico in 1986, where they had reached the semi-finals. In fact, Belgium is the team in Italia’90 which has the largest numbers of survivors from the previous World Cup. Rejuvenation has more or less replaced the few players which Thys had had to do without, and even the excellent goalkeeper Pfaff had had a very able inheritor in Michel Preud’homme.

The question is whether Thys will opt for a 5-3-2 or 4-4-2. He had varied between these two formations in the qualification, …

The Scifo question