De Bruyne: Belgium can cope without Kompany

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BRUNO FAHY
The midfielder insists there is no pressure on his international and club team-mate to be fit in time for their World Cup opener

Kevin De Bruyne has admitted Vincent Kompany may not be fit in time to feature in Belgium 's opening games at the World Cup but is confident the team can cope without the experienced defender.

Kompany is recovering from a groin injury suffered in the Red Devils' goalless draw in a friendly against Portugal and, while confident of being fit for the tournament, the timing of his return remains a mystery.

However, De Bruyne feels Roberto Martinez's squad has the strength in depth to cover for the absence as they prepare to begin their campaign in Russia against Panama on June 18.

"He's calm," De Bruyne told reporters. "I'm not putting the pressure on Vinnie [Kompany].

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"He knows his body and he works hard.

"He may not be there for the first games in Russia but the team can play the group stage without him."

After their opener in Sochi, Belgium face Tunisia on June 23 before ending their Group G fixtures with a clash against England five days later.

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