Belgium to make last-minute calls on Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard fitness for Italy Euros quarter-final

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 (BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images)
(BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images)

Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne will both undergo last-minute fitness tests in the hope that they could feature for Belgium in their Euro 2020 quarter-final tie against Italy on Friday night.

Both players were injured during Belgium’s last-16 victory over Portugal on Sunday, with De Bruyne picking up an ankle issue and Hazard complaining of a hamstring problem.

The pair have been unable to take part in full training since, but Belgium are hoping they can still play some role during Friday’s huge last-eight clash in Munich.

“As you know, they didn’t join the group this morning,” said Belgium boss Roberto Martinez on Thursday.

“They couldn’t train with the group just yet, but probably that is something that we expected. It has been another 24 hours, another 24 hours that they have been positive towards their recovery.

“But we all know that we are fighting against time. We are going to take until the last minute to make the decision [as to whether they play against Italy].”

The uncertainty around De Bruyne and Hazard has also caused issues for Italy, who are unsure whether to prepare a tactical approach based around the duo starting.

The Azzurri have won every game at Euro 2020 so far and boss Roberto Mancini hopes Belgium’s key playmakers do start Friday’s heavyweight showdown.

 (BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images)
(BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images)

“I think fixtures such as these are nice to be involved in because top players play in them,” he said. “Belgium are a brilliant team. They have been top of the Fifa world rankings for three years.

“We are performing well and I think for a spectator, for a neutral, it would be great to see them (Belgium) at full strength. So, we hope everyone can be fit and firing.

“Of course, they would cause us more problems because of that - but that’s what is great about football.”

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