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Belgium-Italy: A clash of titans in Euro 2020 quarter-finals

Belgium has yet to lose a match this year, while the Azzurri celebrated a new national record of 31 games unbeaten after their win against Austria in the Round of 16.

Top-ranked Belgium take on fellow form side Italy later on Friday in a clash of football titans as the Euro 2020 quarter-finals get under way.

Both teams have 100 percent records so far at the tournament and meet at Munich’s Allianz Arena at 20:00 GMT.

Belgium still has major injury doubts surrounding creative midfielders Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne.

For Italy, Giorgio Chiellini may be back in the starting lineup after missing the last two games due to a muscle injury, while full-back Alessandro Florenzi was seen training with the squad again after having calf issues.

Belgium has yet to lose a match this year, while the Azzurri celebrated a new national record of 31 games unbeaten after their win against Austria in the Round of 16.

Italy won its only European title in 1968. Belgium has never won it but the team finished third at the World Cup three years ago.

COVID concerns

The Euro 2020 quarterfinals coincide with renewed concern over the spread of COVID-19 in Europe, after Scottish officials linked nearly 2,000 infections to the June 18 match between England and Scotland at Wembley Stadium in London.

On Thursday, Germany’s Interior Minister Horst Seehofer condemned UEFA for allegedly pushing for larger stadium crowds, saying European football’s governing body’s position is “utterly irresponsible“.

“I cannot explain why UEFA is not being sensible …,” Seehofer said. “I suspect it is due to commercialism,” he added.

Munich’s Allianz Arena has previously allowed 14,500 fans into the venue on the condition of wearing masks, observing social distancing and showing proof of a negative coronavirus test.

In a reaction, UEFA said it is up to local authorities to determine crowd sizes and other COVID measures at every venue.

In the first quarter-final match on Friday, Switzerland plays Spain in St Petersburg at 17:00 GMT. On Saturday, the Czech Republic plays Denmark in Baku, and Ukraine and England are set to clash in Rome.




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