BELGIUM are taking on Italy in the Euro 2020 quarter-final and Kevin de Bruyne is FIT.
The midfielder limped off injured in the 1-0 last 16 win over Portugal and was a huge doubt for this game, but has been included in the starting line-up.
Eden Hazard also went off in that game and has not made it into the team.
Italy meanwhile have included Federico Chiesa in the starting line-up after his decisive contribution in extra time against Austria at Wembley.
What time does Belgium vs Italy kick off?
- Belgium take on Italy on Friday, July 2 – TODAY.
- The match kicks off at 8pm – 9pm in Belgium, Italy and Germany.
- It will be played at the Allianz Arena in Munich.
- The sides last met at Euro 2016 when goals from Emmanuele Giaccherini and Graziano Pelle saw Antonio Conte's Italy run out 2-0 winners.
What TV channel is Belgium vs Italy on and can I live stream it?
- Belgium vs Italy is live on BBC One.
- Coverage commences at 7.30pm – half an hour before kick-off.
- To stream the game live, head to the BBC iPlayer.
- RTBF and VRT are showing Euro 2020 in Belgium while RAI and Sky Italia are the Italian broadcasters.
Can I watch Belgium vs Italy for free?
- Yes. BBC is free for all UK viewers with a TV licence.
- Get your TV licence here.
- Sam Dymond
1 Sirigu, 26 Meret, 5 Locatelli, 9 Belotti, 11 Berardi, 12 Pessina, 13 Emerson, 15 Acerbi, 16 Cristante, 20 Bernardeschi, 23 Bastoni, 25 Toloi
- Sam Dymond
Roberto Mancini makes two changes to the team that eventually saw off Austria. In defence, the Italy head coach recalls his captain Giorgio Chiellini, who replaces Francesco Acerbi in partnering up with Leonardo Bonucci in central defence. Up front, Federico Chiesa is rewarded with a spot on the right after he made the breakthrough at Wembley which means Domenico Berardi drops to the bench. It's the usual 4-3-3 formation for Mancini with his midfield trio of Nicola Barella, Jorginho and Marco Verratti dictating the tempo.
21 Donnarumma; 2 Di Lorenzo, 19 Bonucci, 3 Chiellini, 4 Spinazzola; 18 Barella, 8 Jorginho, 6 Verratti; 14 Chiesa, 17 Immobile, 19 Insigne
- Sam Dymond
12 Kaminski, 13 Sels, 4 Boyata, 11 Carrasco, 14 Mertens, 18 Denayer, 19 Dendoncker, 20 Benteke, 22 Chadli, 23 Batshuayi, 24 Trossard, 26 Praet
- Sam Dymond
Kevin De Bruyne STARTS – but Eden Hazard doesn't even make the bench. It means there is just the one change to the Belgium side the began gainst Portugal on Sunday with 19-year-old Jeremy Doku the surprise replacement for the older Hazard brother. The Rennes teenage sensation will play with De Bruyne behind Romelu Lukaku as Roberto Martinez continues with the same 3-4-2-1 shape as previous. The back three is full of experience, and is made up of 32-year-old Toby Alderweireld, 35-year-old Thomas Vermaelen, and 34-year-old captain Jan Vertonghen.
1 Courtois; 2 Alderweireld, 3 Vermaelen, 5 Vertonghen; 15 Meunier, 6 Witsel, 8 Tielemans, 16 T Hazard; 7 De Bruyne, 25 Doku; 9 Lukaku
- Sam Dymond
THE TEAMSHEETS ARE IN!
- Sam Dymond
DE BRUYNE IN?
In among the criticism of Michael Oliver and Peter Walton, Twitter is awash with rumours that Kevin De Bruyne is set to start for Belgium this evening.
The official team news is imminent.
- Sam Dymond
A SQUAD GAME
No country at Euro 2020 has utilised more players in their 26-man squads than Italy, and it would be no surprise to see Roberto Mancini ring the changes again this evening.
All but one of Mancini's squad has made it on to the field so far with reserve goalkeeper Alex Meret the only exception.
The head coach has previously spoken about his desire to give his players game time at these finals, having experienced the disappointment of being a non-playing part of Italy's 1990 World Cup squad during his own career.
- Sam Dymond
ROMANS AND CENTURIONS
If there really is no substitute for experience, as they say, then Belgium may fancy their chances of prevailing in Munich tonight.
In starting the Group B encounter with Denmark a fortnight ago, forward Dries Mertens – another who plays his football in Italy with Napoli – became the FIFTTH player in Roberto Martinez's squad to reach 100 international caps.
The better news for Italy is that there is a fitness doubt over one of Belgium's centurions – Eden Hazard – while they also possess two of their own in captain Giorgio Chiellini and Leonard Bonucci.
- Jan Vertonghen (Belgium, 129 caps)
- Axel Witsel (Belgium, 112 caps)
- Toby Alderweireld (Belgium, 111 caps)
- Eden Hazard (Belgium, 110 caps)
- Giorgio Chiellini (Italy, 109 caps)
- Leonardo Bonucci (Italy, 106 caps)
- Dries Mertens (Belgium, 101 caps)
LUK WHO'S BACK
Gianluigi Donnarumma has shown himself to be a first class goalkeeper at these finals, having been beaten just once in 400 minutes of football.
But tonight he'll come face-to-face with an old foe, who certainly holds the upper hand when it comes to their record in domestic football.
Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku has been playing his football with Inter Milan in Italy's Serie A for the past two seasons, and has come up against the young AC Milan stopper in five local derbies in that time – and has scored past him in every single one.
Lukaku's goals helped Inter win the Derby della Madonnina on four occasions, and proved crucial as the Nerazzurri claimed their first league title in 11 years back in May.
- Sam Dymond
PAIR'S ASSISTS WILL BE MUCH MISSED
Although they eventually found a way past Portugal, Belgium were accused of lacking creativity in Sunday's Round of 16 tie.
And Roberto Martinez's attacking issues are unlikely to be resolved if Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard fail to recover in time for tonight's clash with Italy.
The injured pair were Belgium's creative kings in qualifying, each providing seven assists during the campaign to reach Euro 2020. Their individual totals were only bettered by the Netherlands' Memphis Depay, who managed eight.
When they weren't providing the ammunition for Romelu Lukaku, Hazard and De Bruyne proved themselves adept at finding the net themselves, scoring five and four goals respectively.
Prior to his injury against Portugal, De Bruyne had continued his fine form at these finals, registering a goal and two assists in three matches.
- Sam Dymond
Not only will this evening's winners in Munich book their place in the semi-finals, they'll also find themselves entering the record books for the most consecutive wins in European Championship football.
Both Italy and Belgium have clocked up 14 straight successes that include all four matches at Euro 2020 as well as a perfect ten in qualifying.
Roberto Mancini's team knocked out Austria in extra-time at Wembley on Saturday, having come through a group of Turkey, Switzerland and Wales with maximum points and without conceding a goal.
It should come as no surprise, however, as the Italians only let in four during the entirety of their qualifying campaign, where their 100% record saw them finish ahead of Finland, Greece, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Armenia and Lichtenstein.
Roberto Martinez's men also won all ten of their qualifiers in a group that included the likes of Russia and Scotland, and continued their good form at this summer's tournament.
The Belgians again got the better of Russia before defeating Denmark and Finland in Group B, going on to edge our Portugal in the Round of 16.
The Azzurri and the Red Devils share the current record of 14 straight European Championship victories with Germany, but one nation will hold the new record outright by 11pm tonight.
CUP A LOAD OF THAT
Roberto Mancini and Roberto Martinez haven't faced off as managers in eight years.
But last time they did, it was pretty memorable.
Ben Watson headed home the only goal in extra time as Martinez's Wigan stunned Mancini's Manchester City in the 2013 FA Cup final.
Italy enjoy almost total dominance over Belgium in the head-to-head stakes.
The Azzurri have won 14 of the teams’ meetings, drawn four and lost four.
And in competitive fixtures, Belgium have won just once against Italy, back in 1972 when they beat them 2-1 in a European Championship qualifier.
Last time the sides met was at Euro 2016 when Antonio Conte tactically outclassed Marc Wilmots as his unfancied side ran out 2-0 winners through goals from Graziano Pelle and Emmanuele Giaccherini.
The winner of Belgium vs Italy will take on the victor of today's early quarter-final between Switzerland and Spain.
It gets underway in Saint-Petersburg at 5pm UK time.
You can follow all the action here with our live blog.
FEELING THE BLUES
Italy are slight favourites to advance to the Euro 2020 semi-final, according to Betfair.
Belgium are 12/5 outsiders to win the game in 90 minutes with Italy 11/8 and the draw 21/10.
You can get the Belgians to qualify at 23/20 while Italy are odds-on at 4/6.
SHOW OF UNITY?
The argument over players taking the knee has been just as vicious in Italy as in England.
The Azzurri have not collectively taken the knee in any of their Euro 2020 games so far, but five players chose to kneel when Wales did in Rome.
And the team have now agreed that they WILL take the knee when Belgium do, in solidarity with Roberto Martinez's team.
Captain Giorgio Chiellini stated that this does not mean they support any political stance or indeed the view of the Belgian players.
He stated: "If in fact the opponents were to choose to kneel in that case the team would do the same, kneel, out of respect for the sensitivity of the opponents.
"This is where the group chose a line."
And the Italian FA added: “As Chiellini explained, the team will kneel in solidarity with the opponents.
“Not for the [Black Lives Matter] campaign itself, which we don’t share.
"The Austrian players didn’t kneel and ours remained standing. If those from Belgium do so, ours too will in solidarity with them.”
Roberto Martinez has spoken positively about Kevin de Bruyne's chances of featuring in today's match after he was forced off against Italy through injury.
He said: "Every day that goes by, we see an improvement. We know we are fighting against time. We will take until the last minute [to decide].
"We are in tournament mode and by being with the team here, we are trying to get them fit as quickly as we can.
"That’s not being arrogant. We’re just trying to see if we can get them fit for the next few games.
"It will be difficult in Eden’s case with a soft tissue injury, and maybe Kevin is a little bit different."
Italy fans will be delighted to have a game they can travel to after being banned from their last 16 win over Austria at Wembley.
Italians arriving to the UK are forced into quarantine, meaning it was impossible for them to see the game.
But both Italians and Belgians are currently allowed to travel freely to Munich where this game will take place.
And Italy will have a measure of revenge for tomorrow's quarter-final in Rome, where England fans will be unable to watch their game against Ukraine.
Belgium are taking on Italy as the two most successful teams at Euro 2020 so far go head-to-head.
Both teams come into this game with hundred per cent records at the tournament so far, but only one will progress to the semi-final.
The Belgians cruised out of a group containing Denmark, Finland and Russia, dazzling the world with some mesmerising attacking football.
But a more pragmatic display was required in the last 16 as they held on to a 1-0 win over Portugal with both Eden Hazard and Kevin de Bruyne going off injured.
Italy were equally impressive in the group stage, if not more so, as they hammered Turkey and Switzerland 3-0 on home turf before outplaying Wales in a 1-0 win.
But they looked far less comfortable against Austria at Wembley and would have been dumped out but for VAR disallowing a Marko Arnautovic header for offside.
Federico Chiesa and Matteo Pessina popped up with the crucial strikes in extra time to send the Azzurri through, despite a consolation goal from Sasa Kalajdzic.
Munich is the host city for this one with the game to be played in front of a 22 per cent capacity after German Minister of the Interior Horst Seehofer criticised Wembley for its plans to host the semi-finals and final at a 75 per cent capacity.
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