A high-profile match like Belgium vs. Italy may have all of the hype of a final, but only one European giant will advance to the semifinals at Euro 2020.
After a stalwart performance in a 1-0 win over defending European champion Portugal, Belgium, ranked No. 1 in the FIFA world rankings, appears to be the tournament favorite after France's exit. Borussia Dortmund wing-back Thorgan Hazard provided the winner for Belgium, but manager Roberto Martínez will have some tough decisions to make.
Belgium was sweating over the fitness of star midfielders Kevin De Bruyne (ankle) and Eden Hazard (hamstring), each of whom left the Portugal win with injuries. After Martínez said the duo was "50-50" to be available to face Italy, De Bruyne was given the start, while Hazard was left out entirely.
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Time: 3 p.m. ET
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Belgium XI: Courtois; Alderweireld, Vermaelen, Vertonghen; Meunier, Witsel, Tielemans, T. Hazard; De Bruyne, Doku, Lukaku.
Italy XI: Donnarumma; Di Lorenzo, Bonucci, Chiellini, Spinnazola; Jorginho, Barella, Verratti; Chiesa, Insigne, Immobile.
Meanwhile, Italy is waiting on the status of two key defenders after Giorgio Chiellini and Alessandro Florenzi returned to training from their respective injuries. Italy scraped by Austria with a 2-1 extra-time win in the round of 16 thanks to late goals from Federico Chiesa and Matteo Pessina.
The Red Devils come into the quarterfinal meeting in Munich on a 13-game winning streak. The Azzurri enter Friday's match after setting an Italian record 31-game unbeaten streak. One of those impressive runs will come to an end, with the winner meeting either Spain or Switzerland in London for the semifinals.
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