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Belgium waiting on Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard fitness ahead of Italy clash

Manager Roberto Martinez will make a late decision on the injured pair.

De Bruyne is taken from the field, injured.
De Bruyne is taken from the field, injured.
Image: Jose Manuel Vidal

BELGIUM BOSS ROBERTO Martinez will give Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard until the last minute to prove their fitness ahead of Friday night’s Euro 2020 quarter-final clash with Italy.

Manchester City star De Bruyne suffered an ankle injury during Sunday’s 1-0 win over Portugal, during which Real Madrid’s Hazard also limped off with a muscle problem, and neither was able to train with the rest of the squad on Thursday morning.

However, speaking at his pre-match press conference ahead of the game in Munich, Martinez said: “We all know that we are fighting against time, but we’re going to take until the last minute to make the decision.

“Every day that goes by, every time they can sleep and get three meals and get some treatment, we see an improvement, and then we’ll see tomorrow if they can be involved or not. Unfortunately at the moment, we cannot make a decision.

“Obviously it will be difficult for tomorrow – a soft tissue injury in Eden’s case, maybe is difficult for a game like tomorrow, and for Kevin, having a ligament problem maybe is a bit different.

“But it’s more a medical decision. At the moment, it’s not a football decision; tomorrow it will become a medical decision in the afternoon and then we’ll make a football decision after that.”

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Martinez could do with having all his most potent weapons available for a clash with an Italian side which is unbeaten in 31 matches, while both teams are bidding to become the first to win 15 consecutive European Championship matches since the start of qualification.

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