FIFA World Cup 2018: Belgium must not get complacent against Japan, feels Mertens

Jul 02, 2018, 11:41 IST | AFP

The Belgians have emerged as dark horses at this World Cup, with their "Golden Generation" of players tipped to mount a deep run into the knockout rounds

FIFA World Cup 2018: Belgium must not get complacent against Japan, feels Mertens
Dries Mertens

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

The Belgians have emerged as dark horses at this World Cup, with their "Golden Generation" of players tipped to mount a deep run into the knockout rounds. Roberto Martinez's side defeated England 1-0 in their last outing to top Group G, earning what on paper should be a straightforward Last 16 assignment against Japan. But Mertens says the Red Devils are wary of a possible repeat of their Euro 2016 quarter-final, when they crashed to a 3-1 defeat to Wales despite being favoured to progress.

"I remember the Wales game," Mertens said. "Everyone thought we were going to go through, no problem. And then suddenly, we're out of the tournament. "We're not going to under-estimate Japan because they have a strong team. If they have got this far, it means they're a good side."

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