Thomas Vermaelen says Belgium will head into their first World Cup finals in 12 years with “no fear”.

Marc Wilmots’ side have been tipped as dark horses in Brazil, and have a host of Premier League stars in their ranks.

Arsenal captain Vermaelen admits confidence is high as Belgium prepare for their group-stage matches against Algeria, Russia and Korea Republic.

We just go there with no fear and to make sure we do as well as we can

Thomas Vermaelen

“The World Cup is never going to be easy, but I think it's a good draw,” he told Arsenal Player. “There are more difficult groups but we still have to play those games.

“Every team who's there deserves to be there. It will be hard work but we have a talented group so if we do our job and play well then it's possible we can get to the second round.

“It's difficult to say [we are dark horses]. We just go there with no fear and to make sure we do as well as we can. We must put all our effort in and see where we come.”

Vermaelen plays alongside the likes of Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku and Maroune Fellaini in the Belgium squad, and he agrees that it is something of a 'golden generation'.

“It's not just happened overnight, we've been working on it for a couple years and it has come altogether,” he said. “Players have developed themselves in big countries, for example England, they play well and bring it back to the national team. I think it's a good moment to play a World Cup.”

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 17 Jun 2014