Belgium and Italy meet in the Euro 2020 quarter-finals at the Allianz Arena on Friday at 8pm (UK time).
Belgium came through a gruelling test against Portugal in the last-16, in which Cristiano Ronaldo and Co registered 23 shots, but the Euro 2016 winners have now exited the competition. Italy meanwhile needed extra-time to see off Austria at Wembley, maintaining their 31-game unbeaten record under Roberto Mancini.
Where to watch Belgium vs Italy on TV:
- UK: BBC One
- US: ESPN
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Where to live stream Belgium vs Italy:
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Scoreline prediction: Belgium 2-1 Italy
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Belgium vs Italy build-up, previous line-ups & injury news:
Having made light work of the groups, FIFA’s No. 1 ranked nation saw off European champions Portugal in pragmatic fashion in Seville on Sunday, with Roberto Martinez’s men surviving the onslaught from Selecao, and achieving progression courtesy of Thorgan Hazard’s delectable curling effort on the stroke of half time.
Italy were even better in the groups, winning all three games without conceding, which culminated in achieving an 11-game unbeaten run while keeping a clean sheets in each of those fixtures. Mancini’s men were breached by Austria in the last round, but they made it through in extra time.
- Belgium (vs Portugal): Courtois; Alderweireld, Vermaelen, Vertonghen; Meunier, Tielemans, Witsel, T Hazard; De Bruyne*, E Hazard*, Lukaku.
- Italy (vs Austria): Donnarumma; Di Lorenzo, Bonucci, Acerbi, Spinazzola; Jorginho, Barella, Verratti; Berardi, Insigne, Immobile.
Eden Hazard and Kevin de Bruyne both withdrew through injury against Portugal, with the former limping off with a hamstring issue and the latter sustaining a knock to his ankle. Neither player is expected to be fully fit for the quarter-finals, but Martinez confirmed they could feature at some point.
“They didn’t take any major damage and stay with the team,” said Martinez.
“Our main concern at the moment is time, as the match against Italy is coming up quickly. Kevin and Eden probably won’t get 100% fit, but we will use every day to get them as fit as possible.
“In the event that we go through, they will be ready for the semi-final anyway.”
Timothy Castagne has already withdrawn after suffering a double fracture in his eye socket in the 3-0 win over Russia, while second-choice goalkeeper Simon Mignolet had to pull out of the tournament after picking up a knee injury, in which he was replaced by uncapped Thomas Kaminski.
Giorgio Chiellini wasn’t risked against Austria but should hopefully be fit to return here, though Alessandro Florenzi remains a fitness doubt. Lorenzo Pellegrini is out.
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Players to watch:
- Belgium: Romelu Lukaku has once again been in top form for Belgium, netting three times to lead his nation to the quarter-finals. With 63 goals in just 97 caps, Lukaku is the undisputed top goalscorer in Belgian history, nearly doubling that of his closest challenger (Eden Hazard with 32 goals). Heading into the tournament after leading Inter Milan to Serie a glory, the Antwerp-born forward has had a scent of silverware and will be itching to continue his medal-hoovering summer with another trophy to embellish his mantlepiece. Against a defence as stubborn as Italy’s, Lukaku’s bustling and robust exploits will be key to getting in behind and stretching Mancini’s rearguard.
- Italy: Having really come to the fore under Thomas Tuchel at Chelsea, Jorginho has carried his club form over to the international stage. The tidy, press-resistant metronome has been setting to pace for his nation and dictating the flow of play. Against a Belgium side happy to concede possession (registering just 42% against Portugal), Jorginho’s role as ball-hogger will provide a springboard for Italian attacks, and that could be the key to unsettling Martinez’s midfield.