Coach stresses importance of Red Devils' next Euro 2024 qualifier
Belgium are preparing for their final Euro 2024 qualifier against Azerbaijan on Sunday at 18.00. Speaking at a press conference in Tubize on Saturday, head coach Domenico Tedesco stressed the importance of the match. "This is not a test, it's an important game," he said.
Belgium have already qualified for next summer's tournament in Germany. A win would see them leapfrog Austria, who currently sit top of Group F but have played one game more than Belgium.
Referring to Azerbaijan's track record, which includes a narrow defeat to Austria and a 3-0 win over Sweden, Tedesco expressed respect for their abilities.
He hinted at slight changes to the squad to keep it fresh. Emphasising the importance of the upcoming match, he conceded that a reshuffle similar to the one he made for Wednesday's friendly against Serbia was possible. Belgium won 1-0, with a second-minute goal from Yannick Carrasco.
Tedesco praised Jan Vertonghen, who has been in good form in recent training sessions. Despite good performances from younger players against Serbia, Tedesco said he didn't see a need for changes at the heart of his defence, praising the performances of Vertonghen and Wout Faes.
Romelu Lukaku, who was rested for the Serbia game, is expected to make a comeback. Amadou Onana, Zinho Vanheusden and Arnaud Bodart will be missing from the squad due to injury and illness.
Asked about the quality of the pitch, Tedesco said: "We will play without excuses."
© BELGA PHOTO VIRGINIE LEFOUR