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World Cup

De Bruyne wary of Morocco’s qualities ahead of ‘difficult' World Cup game

08:54 SAST 2022/11/26
Kevin De Bruyne Belgium Achraf Hakimi Morocco
Belgium midfielder Kevin de Bruyne expects his team to be tested to the limit by Morocco in their second World Cup game on Sunday.
  • De Bruyne anticipating a tough test against the Atlas Lions
  • Belgium midfielder understands the qualities of Morocco’s squad
  • The Red Devils aim to confirm their progression

WHAT HAPPENED? Belgium will be looking for a second straight victory to advance from their group against Morocco, who held 2018 finalists Croatia to a goalless draw on matchday one, and the Manchester City midfielder admits it will be a difficult game given how well he understands the Atlas Lions players.

WHAT DID DE BRUYNE SAY? "In the World Cup, there are no more weak teams,” De Bruyne said during a pre-match press conference on Friday.

“Morocco have a good team. I know almost all the players in the first 11 who play in the Premier League, in France and in Italy. They made a good game against Croatia, which we all know. It's going to be a difficult game".

“I think we can show more courage, be better with the ball and improve our performance. Individually, it's the same. I was at the team's level of play, that is to say under the average, and I hope to do much better than that."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: De Bruyne’s comments come days after Morocco coach Walid Regragui said “they played with balance like the European teams” against Croatia and the North Africans have another tough test against Belgium who finished third in Russia four years ago.

Morocco will take encouragement from the fact that Belgium were not at their very best in their 1-0 victory over Canada with De Bruyne himself surprised that he was named Man of the Match after what he termed a poor display.

The Atlas Lions will, however, have to do it without defender Noussair Mazraoui who sustained an injury in the game against Croatia.

WHAT’S NEXT? Regragui will be hoping that Hakim Ziyech and co will be more efficient in front of goal when his side take on the Belgians on Sunday.