Ahead of Belgium’s important round of 16 clash against high flying Italy, both their talisman Kevin De Bruyne and captain Eden Hazard missed the training session on Thursday. The duo limped off during Belgium’s round of 16 clash versus Portugal.
While De Bruyne’s injury was an ankle ligament issue, Eden Hazard has a muscle problem. Both are still doubtful for the game against Italy and are expected to take part on the bench at the maximum.
Hazard’s injury looked more serious at first viewing as muscle injuries take quite some time to recover. Players such as Trent Alexander-Arnold and Lucas Digne suffered muscle injuries to their thighs and were completely ruled out of the tournament since these sorts of injuries are quite complex and take a while to recover.
However, it was reported that the Real Madrid man did take part in training on Wednesday, while Kevin De Bruyne remained absent. At the moment, Italy are slight favourites against Belgium as the Three Lions are going to be without two of their star players.
Both the players had injury problems prior to the Euros and are quite injury prone in general. Eden Hazard’s time at the Santiago Bernabeu has been plagued with injuries, while Kevin De Bruyne has also spent a good chunk of time on the medical bench at Manchester City.
On Monday, coach Roberto Martinez said both players were “50/50” to feature against Italy in Munich on Friday.
“Kevin and Eden probably won’t get 100 percent fit, but we will use every day to get them as fit as possible,” he said.
Belgium are bidding to reach the semi-finals for the first time since 1980 when they lost to West Germany in the final.
Belgium will face Italy at the Allianz Arena on Friday and it will be their first ever meeting in a knockout match at a major tournament. They have previously met four times at the Euros or the World Cup and the Italians have avoided defeats on all occasions.