Belgium will head to this summer’s World Cup in Brazil with “no fear", according to Thomas Vermaelen.

Several pundits have tipped Belgium as dark horses for the tournament with the likes of Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku and Marouane Fellaini in their squad.

The Arsenal captain is quietly optimistic about their chances, and hopes Mark Wilmots’ players can live up to their potential.

Every team deserves their place. But we have a talented group and if we do our job and play well, it’s possible to go through to the second round

Thomas Vermaelen

“I’m very excited because it’s a new experience for us,” Vermaelen told Arsenal Player. “In our squad I think there are only two players who have played at a big tournament before, so it is something we are all looking forward to.

“The country is so happy for us. If you look at when we qualified, I think the whole country was watching that game! They’re all thrilled that we’re going to the World Cup.

“We go there with no fear to play our games and we’ll make sure we do all we can. [We will] put all our effort in and see how far we have come.”

Belgium have been drawn in Group H with Algeria, Russia and South Korea and Vermaelen is looking forward to the challenge.

“Everything is possible at the World Cup, it’s never going to be easy, but I think it is a good draw,” he said. “There are more difficult groups but you still have to play those games.

“Every team [that has qualified] deserves their place. But we have a talented group as well and if we do our job and play well, then it’s possible to go through to the second round.”

Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source Rob Kelly 5 Mar 2014