MUNICH: Belgian midfielder Thorgan Hazard has described Italy as the toughest opponent they have encountered in the Euro 2020 campaign so far.
Both teams will make their calculations in the quarterfinal action at the Allianz Arena Stadium, early this Saturday morning.
“Italy have a good winning record and it will be a challenge for us. However, their style of play suits us better, compared to Portugal.
“We may have an advantage from the open space, but it’s definitely not an easy thing,” said Hazard, who scored the winning goal for Belgium in Monday’s 1-0 win over Portugal in the last 16.
The quarter-final match between Italy and Belgium is not just a scramble for a slot into the Euro 2020 semi-finals.
The team that wins the match will set a new record as the team that recorded the most wins in the tournament.
Currently, Italy and Belgium have each recorded 14 wins on the Euro stage, including the qualifying rounds.
Both teams equal the record for most wins held by Germany before after beating their respective opponents during the last 16 round action.
Meanwhile, Belgium coach Roberto Martinez said he believed Italy would feature an attacking pattern of play in the match.
“The Italians will attack from the beginning of the game, they will be more organized and dynamic. Every player knows their role.
“The match with Portugal saw us defend more, usually the players don’t play in high pressure at this stage.
“We are fortunate to have a period of a few days for the recovery process and to do the preparations,” he said.