The entry of Kevin De Bruyne changed everything.
Entered the game at the break against Denmark (2-1), the attacking midfielder took care of everything, delivering a brilliant assist for Thorgan Hazard and then scoring the second goal with a no less splendid left strike.
Passeur then scorer, "KDB" took on the role of savior to reverse the trend in a quarter of an hour.
So many signs if necessary that the Mancunien has not lost any of his appetite to influence the course of a meeting, and this despite more than two weeks of unavailability related to his facial injury in the final of Champions League (0-1 v Chelsea, May 29).
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An injury followed by an operation which obviously did not alter his vision of the game, his "assist" for T. Hazard is a perfect illustration. “I knew there was a free space because it was the right side who came to press me, explained KDB Friday. I always try to create chances for my team, it's not the most important thing to score goals. ” In a configuration where 9 out of 10 players would have struck, the former Wolfsburg player invented a perfect assist for him. "We all know Kevin's talent, but what he showed was surgical," said his coach Roberto Martinez. He changed the way the team plays. ” The Spanish coach has also confirmed that his playing master will start Monday against Finland (9 p.m.),against whom he made his debut with the Devils almost eleven years ago.
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Thorgan Hazard forfeit
But this return is not the only one to benefit an armada already provided with a strike force envied elsewhere. Entering the game a few minutes after his brother's equalizing goal, Eden Hazard immediately resumed his captain's armband from Jan Vertonghen and performed a very interesting half hour of play, where he appeared very leggy, alternating between single play and a few fantasies of which he has the secret (and control). The former Lille will also start in Saint Petersburg for this last match in Group B, where a draw would be enough to secure first place for his selection. He will replace his younger brother, who will not make the trip due to a knee injury. Add to that the return of Axel Witsel, who played his first minutes since January in Copenhagen,and you get a selection in full possession of its means.
And a team that will not upset anything, since the 3-4-2-1 system should remain the norm, with the house gunner Romelu Lukaku, elected man of the match in the first two meetings, at the forefront. Witsel is expected to replace Dendoncker in the middle while De Bruyne will replace the disappointing Mertens on the right, while enjoying his usual freedom of placement in the animation. "The test is whether they are capable of playing a whole game," predicts the coach. A kind of laboratory, finally, this match against Finland? While some uncertainties remain in defense, where the place of Lyonnais Jason Denayer is called into question. One thing is certain, by adding De Bruyne, Hazard and other Witsels, we have a better chance of inheriting the right formula.