Belgium train ahead of Italy Euro 2020 tie but wait on De Bruyne and Hazard - in pictures

Manager Martinez oversees preparions for heavyweight quarter-final battle with injury doubts hanging over key duo

Belgium will "wait until the last minute" before deciding if key duo Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne are fit for their Euro 2020 quarter-final clash with Italy on Friday.

Manchester City midfielder De Bruyne picked up an ankle injury after a challenge from behind from Portugal's Joao Palhinha during Belgium's 1-0 last-16 win and was substituted just after half-time.

Captain Hazard tweaked his hamstring and was taken off three minutes before the end of the game.

Both players missed the Red Devils' final training session on Thursday before the game in Munich 24 hours later, and while full-back Timothy Castagne has rejoined the squad following a fractured eye socket, he is unlikely to feature.

““We all know we are fighting against time,” said Belgium manager Roberto Martinez said of De Bruyne and Hazard's chances of playing at the Allianz Arena. "We are going to wait until the last minute to make that decision.

“We'll see tomorrow if they can be involved or not. Unfortunately, at the moment we cannot make a decision.”

Belgium saw off Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal in Seville thanks to Thorgan Hazard's goal and held on despite the injuries to De Bruyne and Eden Hazard.

Martinez's side, ranked No 1 in the Fifa world rankings, now face Roberto Mancini's Italy, who have made a perfect start to Euro 2020 and made it 31 matches unbeaten with their last-16 win over Austria, thanks to Matteo Pessina's extra-time winner.

“You are seeing the two best teams statistically in this competition,” said Martinez. “We had to face Portugal really early and now Italy and I think it is a shame for both national teams that we face each other at this stage.”

Updated: July 2nd 2021, 11:28 AM
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