St Petersburg (Reuters)
Russia coach Stanislas Cherchesov said that his counterpart Roberto Martinez still has an unbeatable squad, despite the absence of two influential midfield players ahead of their encounter in the opening group B of the European Football Championship.
De Bruyne did not travel with Belgium to play the first match against Russia in St. Petersburg, as he continues to recover from a fracture in the eye and nose cavity during the final of the Champions League, and underwent a small surgery after that, before joining his teammates last Monday, and a player is also recovering Midfielder Axel Witsel with an ankle ligament injury
Belgium has reached the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup and has been at the top of the FIFA rankings for the last three years.
Cherchesov said: They have 18 players from the World Cup squad, as far as I know. We met them three times, all of which were exciting and fun matches for the fans. We are studying them and our goal tomorrow is to appear in the best way. We suffered two defeats, but let us not forget that Belgium is a great team.
The Russian team suffered a painful blow, after it was announced today that defender Roman Yevgenev joined the squad to participate in the European Championship, as a replacement for midfielder Andrei Mostovoy, who was infected with the Corona virus.
The spotlight will focus on the tall Russian striker and captain Artem Gueba, who scored 29 goals for his country, becoming only two goals away from being the all-time top scorer.
Guiba said that De Bruyne’s absence is a big loss for Belgium, but they are still favorites to top the group.
“I remember how strong, organizational and disciplined Belgium are,” said Guiba. I know exactly what I have to do during the match. We have the experience and have analyzed all the matches.”