De Bruyne unsure of workload as Belgium kick off World Cup campaign

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FILE PHOTO: FA Cup Quarter Final - Everton v Manchester City

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Kevin De Bruyne has not discussed with Belgium coach Roberto Martinez whether he will feature in all three of their World Cup qualifiers over the next week or be spared with a tough club schedule ahead.

“I have no idea what the coach is aiming for. I don’t know if he has talked to (Manchester) City or (manager) Pep (Guardiola), but we haven’t talked about it,” he said of potential discussions over how much time he will spend on the field with the national team, where he will be their talisman in the absence of injured captain Eden Hazard.

“It will be a very tough week,” De Bruyne said of a bruising Group E schedule, starting with Wales at Leuven on Wednesday, before matches against the Czech Republic away on Saturday and Belarus back at Leuven next Tuesday.

“A lot will depend on how the matches go and how I feel. If there is a problem I will certainly speak to the coach about it, but it is difficult to say anything about it now.

“After the national team we have matches every two or three days,” De Bruyne added of Manchester City’s hectic schedule as they chase four trophies in the coming months.

“Champions League, end of (league) season, (cup) semi-finals and final. Difficult matches, the level can only get tougher,” he told a news conference on Tuesday.

De Bruyne said it was a privilege to play for Manchester City as they chase the quadruple of the Premier League, FA Cup, League Cup and Champions League.

"When you start a season, you want to win everything. It is a privilege for me to play in such a good (club) team and national team. I am privileged to be able to compete for all those prizes, but at the moment we have won nothing yet. Hopefully that will change by the end of the season."

(Writing by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Toby Davis)