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Hazard out, De Bruyne starts for Belgium against Italy at Euro 2020


[FILE] Belgium’s midfielder Eden Hazard is substituted by Belgium’s Spanish coach Roberto Martinez (2L) during the UEFA EURO 2020 round of 16 football match between Belgium and Portugal at La Cartuja Stadium in Seville on June 27, 2021. (Photo by Julio Munoz / POOL / AFP)

Belgium captain Eden Hazard lost his fitness race and was left out of the matchday squad for Friday’s Euro 2020 quarter-final against Italy, but playmaker Kevin De Bruyne started in Munich.

Manchester City star De Bruyne shook off an ankle injury to face Italy at the Allianz Arena with Hazard sidelined by a hamstring injury.

In Hazard’s absence, his place in the Belgian attack goes to Jeremy Doku of Rennes in the only change from the side which beat holders Portugal 1-0 in the last 16.


Defender Jan Vertonghen will skipper Belgium.

Italy made two changes from the side which beat Austria after extra time in the last 16.

Italy captain Giorgio Chiellini returns after injury, replacing Francesco Acerbi in defence.

Federico Chiesa’s goal after coming off the bench in the last round earned him a start ahead of Domenico Berardi.

Starting line-ups:


Belgium (3-4-3)

Thibaut Courtois; Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen (capt), Thomas Vermaelen; Thomas Meunier, Youri Tielemans, Axel Witsel, Thorgan Hazard; Kevin De Bruyne, Romelu Lukaku, Jeremy Doku

Coach: Roberto Martinez (ESP)

Italy (4-3-3)

Gianluigi Donnarumma; Giovanni Di Lorenzo, Leonardo Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini (capt), Leonardo Spinazzola; Nicolo Barella, Jorginho, Marco Verratti; Federico Chiesa, Ciro Immobile, Lorenzo Insigne

Coach: Roberto Mancini (ITA)

Referee: Slavko Vincic (SLO)


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