Spurs trio aim to send Belgium through to World Cup quarter-finals
PUBLISHED: 15:00 02 July 2018
PA Wire/PA Images
Mousa Dembele could join Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld in the Red Devils starting XI this evening
Tottenham Hotspur’s three Belgians will aim to secure their spot in the quarter-finals of the World Cup later today with a last-16 victory over Japan.
After an impressive performance in the 1-0 win over England in Group G on Thursday, Mousa Dembele could join Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen in the Red Devils starting XI.
Boss Roberto Martinez will have some key decisions to make over who will be in from the off in this evening’s 7pm clash.
Belgium weren’t at their best against England last week, but with both teams resting players it seemed their minds were already on the knock-out phase.
Spurs defenders Vertonghen and Alderweireld were both unused substitutes, but the pair are set to come back into the team tonight.
After the victory, Alderweireld said: “Good win lads. Unbeaten group winners on to the next round.”
The former Ajax defender added earlier today: “World Cup match day. More hungry than ever.”
Vertonghen joined his club and international colleague in congratulating the team for their win over England.
“Well played boys. Japan up next,” the 31-year-old wrote on Twitter the night of the 1-0 victory.
Dembele played the whole 90 minutes against Spurs team-mates Danny Rose and Eric Dier and won the battle with an assured display in the middle. He added: “Good to see friends and get the win.”
All three Tottenham members of the Belgium squad will now hope to help their nation make the quarter-finals of the World Cup.
If the Red Devils were to make it through, they would face one of Brazil or Mexico in the last eight with the two countries doing battle this afternoon.
Belgium made the quarter-finals in 2014, eventually losing to Argentina, and that is the furthest they have gone since 1986 when they finished in fourth place – their best ever placing at a World Cup.
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