The UEFA Nations League continues this weekend, and Belgium host England in a key League A Group 2 match in Brussels.
Both sides can still qualify for next year’s Nations League finals, aware that a win will be paramount in this fixture.
However, Belgium will have some extra motivation, as they were defeated by England at Wembley in October and will be gunning for revenge.
Belgium vs England Head-to-Head
Belgium’s most recent game saw them defeat Switzerland 2-1 in a friendly thanks to a brace from Chelsea striker Michy Batshuayi.
Their form has been excellent in recent games, with that October loss to England being their first since November 2018, snapping an unbeaten run of 13 matches.
England picked up a friendly win over the Republic of Ireland this week but, despite beating Belgium in October, their last competitive game was disappointing. Gareth Southgate’s side slumped to a 1-0 defeat to Denmark at Wembley, denting their hopes of making the 2021 Nations League finals.
Belgium’s loss to England was their first defeat at the hands of the Three Lions since 2012. Prior to that, they defeated them on two occasions during the 2018 World Cup.
Belgium form guide: W-D-L-W-W
England form guide: D-W-W-L-W
Belgium vs England Team News
Belgium will be without a few key players for this game. Captain Eden Hazard and goalkeeper Thomas Kaminski have both been sidelined due to positive COVID-19 tests.
A trio of players – Leandro Trossard, Alexis Saelemaekers and Hendrik van Crombrugge – have also been forced out due to injury.
Injured: Leandro Trossard, Alexis Saelemaekers, Hendrik van Crombrugge
Unavailable: Eden Hazard, Thomas Kaminski
England have plenty of personnel issues of their own coming into this clash. Trent Alexander-Arnold, James Ward-Prowse and Joe Gomez have all been forced out of the squad due to injury, while Marcus Rashford is also reportedly sidelined with a shoulder injury.
Harry Maguire and Reece James are both suspended following their red cards in England’s Nations League loss to Denmark, while Conor Coady has been sent home following reported exposure to COVID-19.
Injured: Trent Alexander-Arnold, James Ward-Prowse, Joe Gomez
Doubtful: Marcus Rashford
Suspended: Harry Maguire, Reece James
Unavailable: Conor Coady
Belgium vs England Predicted XI
Belgium predicted XI (3-4-2-1): Thibaut Courtois, Toby Alderweireld, Jason Denayer, Dedryck Boyata, Thomas Meunier, Axel Witsel, Youri Tielemans, Thorgan Hazard, Kevin de Bruyne, Dries Mertens, Romelu Lukaku
Belgium vs England Prediction
England showed that they’re capable of beating a side on Belgium’s level by shutting Roberto Martinez’s side down in October. However, the nature of their victory was highly fortunate, and the worry for England fans is that Gareth Southgate will simply be too conservative in his team selection.
If Southgate chooses to go with Mason Mount to partner either Declan Rice or Jordan Henderson in the centre of England’s midfield, the Three Lions will have a good shot of defeating a Hazard-less Belgium in this match.
If the England boss goes with his more likely partnership of Rice and Henderson though, the most likely outcome is that the Three Lions get over-run in midfield, leading to their second straight Nations League loss.
Prediction: Belgium 2-0 EnglandPublished 13 Nov 2020, 17:27 IST