Euro 2020: Big setback for Belgium; Hazard, De Bruyne in doubt for QF clash against Italy

Euro 2020: Belgium is sweating on the fitness of captain Eden Hazard and playmaker Kevin De Bruyne ahead of QF against Italy on Friday
Euro 2020: Belgium is sweating on the fitness of captain Eden Hazard and playmaker Kevin De Bruyne ahead of QF against Italy on Friday

Euro 2020: Big setback to Belgium; Hazard, De Bruyne in doubt for QF clash against Italy- Belgium is sweating on the fitness of captain Eden Hazard and playmaker Kevin De Bruyne ahead of its European Championship quarterfinal against Italy in Munich on Friday, according to coach Roberto Martinez.

De Bruyne went off in Sunday’s 1-0 win over Portugal in the last 16 in Seville, asking to be replaced three minutes into the second half due to an ankle injury, while Hazard pulled up three minutes from time in a double blow to the top-ranked Belgians.

Euro 2020 QF, Belgium vs Italy: De Bruyne has ligament bruising and Hazard suffered a hamstring twinge, Martinez told a news conference, putting their chances of playing at 50-50.

ALSO READ| Euro 2020- Spain beat Croatia 5-3: Spain advances to quarterfinals; edge past Croatia in eight-goal thriller

“The initial information that we have from medical staff is positive for both, they will remain with the squad and they have no structural damage,” said Martinez.

“But we are running up against time and it is very difficult to see them fully fit. So we have to take it day-by-day to try and get them fit.”

Euro 2020 QF, Belgium vs Italy: Both Hazard and De Bruyne had recovered from injuries just before the European Championship to help Belgium through the group phase and inject more confidence into the squad.

Euro 2020: Big setback to Belgium; Hazard, De Bruyne in doubt for QF clash against Italy

“We were all a bit concerned before we got the news from the scans and it was a relief to all that we can now work on trying to get them fit again,” Martinez added.

Mignolet leaves Belgium camp with injury: Second-choice goalkeeper Simon Mignolet had injured his knee and scans had shown he would not recover in time, so he was being released back to his club Club Brugge.

He is replaced by uncapped Thomas Kaminski from English club Blackburn Rovers.

Teams cannot replace outfield players in their squad once they have played their first game at the tournament but goalkeepers can be replaced in case of injury.