Bel­gium fired up for key clash against ex­pe­ri­enced Italy

7 Days in Dubai - - SPORT -

Bel­gium boss Marc Wil­mots be­lieves com­ments from a num­ber of Ital­ian play­ers have pro­vided his play­ers with the per­fect mo­ti­va­tion to over­come An­to­nio Conte’s side to­day in Lyon.

Italy mid­fielder Lorenzo In­signe re­cently com­mented on Bel­gium’s poor de­fen­sive record, not­ing that the Red Devils had failed to keep a clean sheet in seven games.

And Wil­mots be­lieves th­ese com­ments will act as ex­tra mo­ti­va­tion as Bel­gium’s “golden gen­er­a­tion” look to live up to hype.

“It’s good if Italy talk about our de­fence as a weak spot,” he said. “I’ll hang the ar­ti­cle up in the locker room so they can all see it.

“We will use that sort of thing to fire us up even more.”

He added: “Would I be happy with a draw? No, I want to win.

“Italy can play with a 3-5-2 or 4-3-3, but we can sur­prise peo­ple too.”

While much of the fo­cus will be on Bel­gium’s ar­ray of at­tack­ing tal­ent - such as Eden Haz­ard, Kevin de Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku - Italy be­lieve an ex­pe­ri­enced de­fence could see them ex­cel in France.

“De­fen­sive sol­i­dar­ity must be our num­ber one tar­get,” said ex­pe­ri­enced cen­tre-back Gior­gio Chiellini.

“I don’t think a team nec­es­sar­ily needs to score that many goals. You only have to score one more than your op­po­nents. That is what re­ally counts.”

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