Roberto Martinez insisted his Belgian side have “enough experience” to handle the pressure at Euro 2020.
The Belgians finished third in the 2018 World Cup in Russia and will return to face the hosts of that tournament in St. Petersburg on Saturday evening, among the favorites to win the title and sit at the top of the FIFA ranking table.
Asked if his players could bear this expectation, Martinez said in a press conference: “It’s not just the last tournament, the last three years when the team reaches a level of continuity and this consistency that shows in the world rankings, I’m sure there are more expectations and there are fans More neutral are following the team.
“But that doesn’t change anything for us. I don’t think this team will suffer because of expectations. I feel we have enough experience to deal with expectations.”
Belgium They will launch their bid for glory without Kevin De Bruyne and Axel Witsel, both of whom remain at their training base in Tubize as they continue to make good progress in their respective recovery from injury.
However, there will be little that the two sides do not know about each other having finished first and second in Group A in qualifying with the Belgians enjoying a perfect record and the Russians winning eight out of 10 matches, but losing on home and away to Martinez. the side.
Striker Artem Dzyuba found himself in a battle with Martinez’s powerful three-man defense of Toby Alderweireld, Diederik Boyata and Jan Vertonghen for a 3-1 defeat in Brussels and shared by Alexei Miranchuk against Alderweireld, Boyata and Thomas Vermaelen as they fell 4.-1 in St Petersburg, and he knows Exactly what to expect.
He said in a press conference: “I would like to play instead of fighting. We don’t play in the air all the time, we use other aspects in attack.
“I remember very well that they are very strong, very disciplined and very organised, so I understand very well what is expected of me in the game and I will try to do everything I can and see how it goes.
“Yes, we have experience and we have analyzed all our games.”
But coach Stanislav Cherchesov’s plans were hampered by the Covid test of Zenit midfielder Andrei Mostovoy, which resulted in “unfavorable results” with Roman Yevgenev being included in the squad instead.
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