Dries Mertens has warned Belgium against the perils of complacency as it prepares to face Japan here on Monday with one eye on a possible quarterfinal 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 its 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 quarterfinal, when they crashed to a 3-1 defeat to Wales despite being favoured to progress.
With nine goals so far in Russia, Belgium is the World Cup’s top-scoring team.
Japan, meanwhile, will be aiming to make history by reaching the World Cup quarterfinals for the first time.
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