'Strange match' awaits England and Belgium

28 Juin, 2018, 15:26 | Auteur: Adelaide Bullion
  • Harry Kane of England carries the ball on the penalty spot during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group G match between England and Panama at Nizhny Novgorod Stadium

The only issue at stake for England against Belgium is whether they finish first or second in Group G. Finishing as runners-up arguably opens up a clearer path to the final - missing France/Argentina and Portugal - but with England now ahead of the Belgians on goal difference, Southgate insists his players will simply go out and try to win the game. Should England pick up another yellow card en route to a draw between the teams, the victor of the group would be determined by a "drawing of lots".

Panama and Tunisia also face off in a Group G match with nothing but pride at stake, as both sides are already out of contention for the knockouts.

"Tomorrow we want to perform well but the priority is not to win": Roberto Martinez.

"Obviously they have a good team", said De Bruyne of England, according to Sky Sports.

"Brazil (2014 World Cup) was totally new". Belgium's Michy Batshuayi and team mates during training. England are now on two yellows to the three of Belgium.

Southgate acknowledges there is a balance to be struck between keeping his side fresh and injury-free and maintaining the momentum they have gained, particularly from the 6-1 crushing of Panama.

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Japan are in the best position on paper as they sit top and face already-eliminated Poland. A hard pathPhoto Belgium has scored eight goals so far in this World Cup .

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"We had a choice with our friendly matches to play teams who would be a bit easier, but we deliberately chose to play against top teams because we knew it would be better challenge".

Harry Kane's involvement is one of the tricky decisions facing Southgate.

- Japan and Senegal require only a point in their respective games against Poland and Colombia to qualify.

Tunisia, ranked 21 in the world, will have to do without starters Syam Ben Youssef and Dylan Bronn, both of whom went off in the first 45 minutes against Belgium.

This will be the fourth meeting of the two nations in major tournaments.

Normally a battle between European neighbours for first place at a World Cup would bring out the win-at-all-cost cliches but with Belgium already assured a spot in the last 16 along with England, Martinez was looking ahead for bigger scalps in the knockout round.

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