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World Cup 2018: Belgium Team vs England, Predicted XI

ANALYST
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2.21K   //    13 Jul 2018, 23:20 IST

FBL-WC-2018-MATCH63-BEL-ENG
Battle for third!

Belgium is set to meet their group's runner-up - England, to decide who takes the bronze medal and who goes back home empty handed.

England came into this tournament with not-so-high expectations as the average age of their squad is the second lowest - 26. Belgium has the average age of just 27 years.

Both the teams have exceeded the expectations of their fans in this tournament. Belgium has scored the maximum number of goals in this tournament but failed to score even a single goal against France.

Thibaut Courtois slammed France for their anti-football tactics but the fact is that it's the French team who will contest with Croatia for the ultimate crown. 

Belgium v England - Play-off for third place : FIFA World Cup 2018 - matchday -1
Roberto Martinez - third place up for grabs

England's players might be a bit jaded as they played for an extra half hour against Croatia. Belgium will meet them for the second time in this World Cup after a 1-0 victory in the third match of their group stage.

Their dreams of World Cup glory are smashed but there is still a lot to play for both the teams. 

Belgium's right-back Thomas Meunier, who was suspended for the semi-final is again available to start. He stated that Belgium is going to put all their efforts into getting the consolation prize.

England's coach Gareth Southgate has also announced that he will name a strong starting XI against Belgium in their last game of the World Cup. 

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BELGIUM'S RESULTS SO FAR

Belgium 3-0 Panama

Belgium 5-2 Tunisia

Belgium 1-0 England

Belgium 3-2 Japan

Belgium 2-1 Brazil

Belgium 0-1 France


BELGIUM'S PREDICTED XI AND TEAM FORMATION

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There are a few calls to give Mignolet a chance but I think Thibaut Courtois has done everything in this World Cup to take his team to glory. He is in the race for Golden Glove and should be starting against England. 

Thomas Meunier's suspension against France was a costly one as Nacer Chadli was forced to play as a right-back against France and looked completely out of touch. 

Witsel has played in a deeper role in this World Cup and has done really well to fill the boots of Inter Milan's Radja Nainggolan.

Roberto Martinez will opt to start Kevin De Bruyne in the midfield alongside Witsel so Dries Mertens could play on the right-flank. He lost his place after Belgium's 3-2 victory against Japan as Fellaini claimed his spot in the starting XI. 

Napoli's forward had an excellent season at Italy and will be hoping to start in Belgium's last game of World Cup 2018. There is also a case for Januzaj to start but seeing the alternatives, it will be highly unlikely to see him in the starting XI. Although his winning goal against England should earn him a call from the bench.

FIFA World Cup 2018 Russia'France v Belgium'
Lukaku - Eyeing the Golden Boot

Eden Hazard has had an amazing tournament, he has been one of the best players for Belgium. He has scored two goals and registered two assists so far. His performances have caught the eyes of Los Blancos who are looking to replace their outgoing star - Cristiano Ronaldo. 

Romelu Lukaku should start upfront even after having an off game against France because he has been arguably the best striker at this World Cup. Harry Kane does have two more goals in front of his name but Lukaku has played superbly in this tournament.

His performance against Brazil is one to remember for years to come. He may have lost the opportunity to win the World Cup but as far as individual trophies are concerned, he is still in the race for the Golden Boot. Both the strikers haven't scored in the past three games, but it is Harry Kane who has been nullified as the tournament progressed.

Roberto Martinez should give his striker the chance to secure the trophy which will be a huge boost to his career.

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ANALYST
A besotted football fan portraying his views and facts on the canvas of sportskeeda. My works are published at a number of other websites as well. #GGMU
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