Here’s what you need to know about why star players Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard are both in danger of missing out on the quarter-final clash
Belgium have emerged as front-runners for Euro 2020, with Romelu Lukaku climbing the top-scorers chart and the team maintaining a perfect win record.
There is, however, a slight cause for concern with stars Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard potentially not being able to play in the upcoming quarter-final against Italy.
Goal has everything you need to know about the situation and more.
Will De Bruyne and Hazard play vs Italy?
Roberto Martinez suggested that both players could miss the quarter-final game against Italy on Friday, due to a injuries the duo picked up.
The Belgium coach said during his latest press conference: “We all know we are fighting against time.
“We are going to wait until the last minute to make that decision. We’ll see [on Friday] if they can be involved or not. Unfortunately, at the moment we cannot make a decision.”
Martinez told Goal that the players’ tournament was not necessarily over, saying: “Obviously we play on Friday, and that could be very close for both players to be available, but medically they can stay in the group and they can carry on working.”
De Bruyne and Hazard were both subbed off the pitch during the 1-0 last-16 win against Portugal, with Hazard’s brother Thorgan Hazard scoring the winner against the reigning European champions.
Both Belgium stars are veterans for the team and their absences will surely be rued if they are ruled out against new tournament favourites Italy.
What happened to Kevin De Bruyne & Eden Hazard?
The pair each limped off the pitch claiming discomfort, though Martinez has stated that neither injury is serious. He is wary, however, about the possibility of them returning to full action in time for Friday – as the victory against Portugal was on Sunday.
De Bruyne had to be replaced by Dries Mertens after picking up an ankle injury following an illegal tackle by Joao Palhinha, while Hazard was suffering from a hamstring issue.
Hazard had only just played his first full 90-minute game in more than a year earlier in the tournament, with injuries plaguing his time at Real Madrid.
Captain Hazard, however, has vowed that he will remain with the Belgium camp regardless of his match fitness.
“I hurt myself, I felt something in the hamstring,” Hazard told reporters. “I think I have something, we’ll see tomorrow.
“We will analyse the injury well, we will see the extent afterwards.
“As captain, I will stay with the group because I have an important role to play.”
What next for Belgium?
Should Belgium claim victory against Italy, they will face either Spain or Switzerland in the quarter-finals.
Both Spain and Switzerland both claimed electrifying victories of their own during their round of 16 games, Spain defeating Croatia 5-3 after extra-time and Switzerland knocking out world champions and former Euro 2020 favourites France through penalty shootout, after the scoreline ended 3-3.