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Belgium outlines World Cup preparations

© Reuters 2002

BRUSSELS, Jan 21 (Reuters) - Belgium coach Robert Waseige said on Monday his team would be learning as much as possible about their group opposition for this year's World Cup finals in June.

"We won't be playing at the same time as our opponents. This means we will able to spy on their performances and take in the latest tactical changes," Waseige said.

Watching videos of past games played by Belgium's opponents is also part of the preparations for the tournament, which is being co-hosted this year by South Korea and Japan.

Waseige said the Belgian squad would arrive 10 days before the competition starts to acclimatise to the heat and humidity.

But he warned against taking it easy, despite the warmer weather and exotic surroundings.

"We're there to play in the World Cup. It's not a holiday," Waseige said.

The Red Devils kick off their World Cup build-up with a friendly in Brussels against Norway on February 13.

As the first international match to be played in three months, Waseige said the match would be more a psychological than tactical test.

"Norway possess undeniable qualities, and are notably physical. They're a tough opponent," he said.

Belgium clinched their place at the World Cup, for a sixth consecutive time, by defeating the Czech Republic 2-0 on aggregate in the playoffs after finishing second behind Croatia in European qualifying group six.

The Belgians will face hosts Japan, Russia and Tunisia in group H.

Norway failed to qualify for the 2002 World Cup.

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