Belgium face Tunisia at World Cup with eye on England
Moscow: Belgium take on Tunisia on Saturday with their eyes set on the knockout round of the World Cup but fearful that star forward Eden Hazard is set for another bruising encounter.
The Belgians want to win at the Spartak Stadium in Moscow to avoid making their final group game against England on June 28 a make-or-break qualification affair.
The Red Devils opened their account in Russia with a 3-0 win over Panama on Monday, when Romelu Lukaku netted twice, but Hazard was tightly marked and occasionally clattered by the Central American opponents.
Belgium coach Roberto Martinez hopes the Chelsea player will not get the same treatment from Tunisia.
"It is a worry that in any of those tackles he could really get hurt," said Belgium's Spanish coach.
"It doesn't worry me if that is just their way of trying to stop him."
History favours the Belgians. They are yet to lose to African opposition at a World Cup, while Tunisia have never beaten a European side at a finals.
The experienced Oussama Haddadi is set to replace Ali Maaloul at left-back in the Tunisian defence and Martinez saw plenty of danger for his team in the north Africans' opening 2-1 defeat to England.
"They have a lot of bravery and they're very dynamic," Martinez said.
"The players have a good understanding between each others and they can bring energy and intensity on counter-attacks. They play direct, efficient football."