Belgium favourites against combative Japan

Eden Hazard of Belgium during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group G match between England and Belgium

Eden Hazard of Belgium during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group G match between England and Belgium

Japan's Hidetoshi Nakata passes the challenge of Belgium's Marc Wilmots.

This shockingly cynical approach evoked memories of the notorious match played out between West Germany and Austria in Spain in 1982 - a 1-0 win for the Germans in which both teams seemed to stop playing after an early goal had been scored.

After reaching the semi-finals of the World Cup in 1990 and the last four of the European Championship on home soil six years later, a glowing clutch of blooming brilliance was expected to swiftly surpass those near misses and end the mounting years of hurt.

Martinez has all his players fit as Belgium hope to improve their best performance at a World Cup finals, 32 years after reaching the semi-finals of Mexico 1986. "It is a day to be very proud of these players". Romelu Lukaku scored four goals, a brace in each of the matches, and he also did it with just four shots on target. Against England, it was a different story, as both sides made a decision to rest their best players.

With center back Vincent Kompany back in the lineup for the first time since picking up a groin strain in a warm-up game, Belgium had looked safe at the back but uninspired up front during a first period when they were on top but toothless. "Japan are a different team to Wales, we'll learn the lessons".

Japan is the smaller side here but has some talent that is capable of getting free in the offensive zone, while Belgium has only slowed down its offense through three matches when the situation dictated it against England. Japan committed 11 fouls against Poland and was assessed one yellow card, but overall it stayed out of trouble from the referees more than Senegal. While Belgium have threatened to impact the worldwide scene for some time, they haven't quite delivered up to their full potential. Against Senegal, it was much more hectic.

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As his defence started to tire, goalkeeper Kawashima kept Japan in the game his side with two saves in quick succession to deny Chadli and Lukaku. That meant South Americans were going top and Japan and Senegal were tied in nearly everything - they both had four points and a goal difference of 4-4. Premier League striker Shinji Okazaki, known to provide the scoring spark for Japan, is in doubt to play with an ankle injury.

Dries Mertens has warned Belgium against the perils of complacency as they prepare to face Japan today with one eye on a possible quarter-final showdown with Brazil.

Yes, the viewers can watch Belgium vs Japan (Round of 16, Match 6) live telecast in India.

FIFA World Cup 2018 Belgium v/s Japan match will kick off at 9.30 PM IST (2330 HRS).

The Red Devils continued to impress in their warm-up friendlies - including a 1-0 win over Japan. However, it would be far from a surprise if Belgium get their attacking play together against a well-organized but slower side and score several goals.

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