Belgium's credentials as a genuine outside bet for World Cup success face a tougher examination against Tunisia on Saturday after a relatively sedate opening against Panama.
Roberto Martinez's star-studded squad emerged as 3-0 winners in their opening Group G game in Sochi on Monday but will likely find Tunisia a far more robust and defensively astute opponent when they meet at the Spartak Stadium in Moscow. It will mean the creative acumen of captain Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne will be vital if Belgium are to move closer to the second round and effectively end Tunisia's tournament. Both Premier League standouts took a while to get going in Monday's match but their obvious ability eventually made the requisite impact. "The first game at any tournament is always a little tough and the heat also tired us out but after rest we'll be ready to roll again," Chelsea playmaker Hazard said in the build-up to the weekend's clash. De Bruyne set up the second goal for Romelu Lukaku with a characteristically innovative pass and the Manchester City midfielder said on Wednesday he saw that as his primary task at the tournament. "I have to get the strikers into situations where they can score. If I do that, then I know I'm doing a good job," he told reporters as Belgium were given a surprise day off.