Two Belgium Stars Could Miss Quarterfinals, Italy Mull Lineup Tweaks

Belgium dug deep to defeat Portugal Sunday, and they could be severely depleted for the Italy clash. Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard subbed off due to injuries. The Manchester City ace tried to play through an ankle problem but bowed out two minutes into the second half. The Real Madrid attacker left the match with few minutes to go clutching the back of his thigh.

At the moment, there is significant pessimism surrounding both, La Gazzetta dello Sport and Sky Sport report. De Bruyne’s ankle is very swollen, which could delay the MRI to Tuesday. Hazard might have suffered a contracture. He stated after the game: “I feel some discomfort, we will have to wait for the exams. If I were to miss the Italy game, I would stay close to my teammates since I am the captain.” Thibaut Courtois added: “He was hurting, I am afraid his Euro could be over, but we hope for another miracle.”

Italy coach Roberto Mancini could change his starting lineup for the quarter-finals, the newspaper indicates. Matteo Pessina and Manuel Locatelli have impressed off the bench and are challenging Nicolò Barella and Marco Verratti. Andrea Belotti subbed in well versus Austria and could be more suitable than Ciro Immobile for this type of fixture. Federico Chiesa is in the running too but unleashing him on tired opponents has proven fruitful. Instead, Giorgio Chiellini is almost fully healthy with five days to go. Barring a setback, he is likely to play over Francesco Acerbi in the back.