Belgium's last goalscorer prior to the 2014 World Cup, Dries Mertens will play an attacking role for the Group H side in arguably their strongest squad of recent decades. The winger was a regular menace in front of goal during his time at PSV Eindhoven, and punters would be foolish to rule him out in first, last and anytime goalscorer markets during their World Cup 2014 campaign.
Mertens was picked up at an early age by the Belgian youth academy of Anderlecht, although he soon moved to the Gent reserves after never reaching the first team. At Gent he was soon promoted to the first team, but then signed on loan with third-tier side, Eendracht Aalst.
Awarded as "Man of the Season" with fans, he then moved to Dutch club AGOVV Apeldoorn in 2006 where he stayed for three years and became one of the side's most important players.
After scoring 31 goals from 110 appearances in all competitions until 2009, Mertens won the "De Gouden Stier" award given to the Jupiler League's most promising talent.
He then moved on in the summer of 2011 to Eredivisie club PSV Eindhoven, and was a formidable force as he scored a pair of hat-tricks and 21 goals in his first season's 33 matches. In four KNVB Beker matches, Mertens also scored three goals including one in the 3-0 final win over Heracles Almelo.
After ending his two-year spell at PSV with a superb 45 goals in 88 showings, Mertens became Rafael Benítez's first signing for Napoli in 2013 for a reported transfer fee of €9.5 million. The Belgian has since scored 13 goals from his maiden 47 appearances for the Italian side in the 2013/14 season.
Mertens made his senior international debut for Belgium in a friendly against Finland in 2011. A year later, he was vital in turning around a three-goal deficit with two assists and a goal to help Belgium beat the Netherlands 4–2 in the 125th Derby der Lage Landen.
Mertens was part of 10 World Cup 2014 qualifying games for Belgium, adding no goals during that time. Mertens however is the last Belgian player to score a goal for the squad, after netting a late winner in their 1-0 victory over Tunisia.
Dries Mertens World Cup betting tips
Mertens will have stiff competition just for a starting spot during what could be a strong World Cup campaign for the Belgian side, although his goal against Tunisia makes him favourable to start in the group stage matches. Mertens will be looking to provide assists for striker Romelu Lukaku, although the winger's betting odds are long enough to gain in first, last and anytime goalscorer markets.