De Bruyne: Now is the moment of truth

AFC Champions League 2019: Gyeongnam FC 1-0 Johor Darul Ta’zim (Luc Castaignos 65′)

Belgium midfielder Kevin De Bruyne has admitted that Marc Wilmots' men face a "moment of truth" as they prepare to take on Republic of Ireland on Saturday afternoon.

The Red Devils will be targeting all three points in the Group E encounter at Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux, having slumped to a 2-0 defeat against Italy in their Euro 2016 curtain-raiser.

Belgium were one of the pre-tournament favourites due to the wealth of talent at their disposal, but they are currently bottom of their group, with Italy already qualified for the round of 16 following a 1-0 triumph over Sweden on Friday.

Another defeat would all but end their hopes of progressing past the group stage, a situation De Bruyne says he and his teammates are determined to avoid.

"Belgium are a good team and with individual players ready for the big moments," De Bruyne told reporters.

"When we looked at the group we knew it would be hard. Italy, Ireland and Sweden are all complicated rivals.

"Our first challenge is just to get through this phase and we will have to work very hard to do it. It won't be easy.

"We had an excellent qualifying campaign, so it's normal that expectation has been increased, but now is the moment of truth.

"We have flattered to deceive in the past but now is the moment to give our fans a special moment to remember."