Tedesco tells already-qualified Belgium not to underestimate Azerbaijan

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Tedesco tells already-qualified Belgium not to underestimate Azerbaijan

A win over Azerbaijan will ensure Belgium finish unbeaten and top of Group F, ahead of Austria who have concluded their campaign
A win over Azerbaijan will ensure Belgium finish unbeaten and top of Group F, ahead of Austria who have concluded their campaignReuters
Belgium coach Domenico Tedesco warned his players not to underestimate Azerbaijan when they complete their European Championship qualifying campaign on Sunday, having already booked their place at the finals in Germany next year.

A win over their visitors, who are 115 places below them in the FIFA rankings, will ensure Belgium finish unbeaten and top of Group F, ahead of Austria who have concluded their campaign.

"The match against Azerbaijan is a very serious match. They deserved to win their game against Austria and beat Sweden earlier this week 3-0. Don't forget that we also had a hard time in Baku. It's good to play for something tomorrow," Tedesco told reporters at a pre-match press conference on Saturday.

"The need to get a good seeding for the Euros has been a topic among players and gives extra motivation. Obviously you have to beat everyone at a European Championship if you want to become European champion, but it can help to avoid certain top countries in the initial phase.”

The match is at the King Baudouin Stadium in Brussels where Wednesday’s friendly international against Serbia was also due to be held but was switched to Leuven one day before kickoff after heavy rains left the field unplayable.

“The field will be no excuse. We are working hard to make it as playable as possible, but I am not worried about it,” added Tedesco, who confirmed veteran defender Jan Vertonghen and leading scorer Romelu Lukaku were both fit. Neither featured on Wednesday.

Belgium will, however, be without Everton midfielder Amadou Onana, who withdrew with a calf injury this week.

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