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World Cup 2018: England vs Belgium - preview, team news, head to head and key stats

Varun Nair
ANALYST
Preview
1.43K   //    14 Jul 2018, 01:50 IST

TOPSHOT-FBL-WC-2018-MATCH60-SWE-ENG
England will be looking for their best finish since the 1966 World Cup

The third-place play-off match will see England take on Belgium at the Krestovsky stadium in Saint Petersburg. With the allure of World Cup glory far from their reach, both teams will be looking to bow out of the tournament with their heads held high as they compete for third place.

The third place play off is often regarded as the most depressing match in a World Cup, with both the teams made to play one more game after losing their semi-final matches.

England started off their World Cup campaign in tense fashion as the last minute goal from talismanic striker Harry Kane gave the Three Lions a 2-1 win over African opponents Tunisia.

The second match saw England beat Panama as they scored 5 goals in the first half to end the match 6-1 in their favour. In the third match eventual semi-finalists Belgium beat England 1-0, securing the second spot for The Three Lions.

The round of 16 match against Colombia will forever be remembered by the English faithful as England finally beat a team on penalties after ending the match 1-1 against Colombia.

The quarter-finals were much more of a routine as England cruised past Sweden 2-0 to book their first semi-final match since 1990.

The semi-finals against Croatia proved to be more of a heart-breaker for England as they lost 2-1 to Croatia after snatching the lead in the 5th minute of the match, denied of their first World Cup final since 1966.

Brazil v Belgium : Quarter Final - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia
The golden generation of Belgium has one more chance to finish the World Cup on high

The Red Devils started off their World Cup campaign justifying their pre-tournament favourites tag as they swept aside Panama and Tunisia 3-0 and 5-2 respectfully while beating eventual losing semi-finalists England 1-0 in final group stage match to finish top of their group.

The knockout stage saw Belgium playing 3 strong matches of the tournament nominees in quick succession as they came back from 2-0 down to beat Japan 3-2 in the round of 16 while edging out Brazil 2-1 in the quarter-finals and losing out 1-0 to France in the semi-finals.

Match date: 14 July 2018, Saturday

Match timing: 19:30 IST

Match venue: Krestovsky Stadium, Saint Petersburg, Russia

Team news

Gareth Southgate has announced that England will be fielding a strong line-up with Kieran Trippier looking likely to be the only player replaced.

England v Croatia: Semi Final - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia
Trippier - in form

Thomas Meunier is back for Belgium after missing out on the semi-finals through suspension.

England vs Belgium: Probable lineups

England XI: Jordan Pickford, Kyle Walker, Gary Cahill, Harry Maguire, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Dele Alli, Jordan Henderson, Jesse Lingard, Fabian Delph, Raheem Sterling, Harry Kane

England v Panama - FIFA World Cup 2018 - Group G - Nizhny Novgorod Stadium
The Three Lions

Belgium XI: Thibaut Courtois, Jan Vertonghen, Vincent Kompany, Toby Alderweireld, Axel Witsel, Kevin De Bruyne, Nacer Chadli, Thomas Meunier, Marouane Fellaini, Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku

Belgium v Panama: Group G - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia
The Red Devils

England vs Belgium: Head to head

This is the second meeting between the two teams in this World Cup, with the first match ending 1-0 in favour of Belgium after both sides made a total of 17 changes to their starting line-up

They will be the first team since Turkey and Brazil in 2002 to play each other more than once in the same World Cup.

England vs Belgium: Key stats

This is the second time Belgium is playing in the third-place play off after losing to France in the first one in 1986.

Belgium is the only side to have beaten at least one team from all 5 continents in this World Cup.

England will be looking to win 5 matches in a single World Cup campaign since 1966.

England will be playing in the third place play off for only the second time after losing to Italy in 1990.

Harry Kane is the leading scorer of the World Cup with 6 goals and is poised to be the first English player since Gary Linekar to win the Golden Boot, with his only competition being the Belgian Romelu Lukaku.

England vs Belgium: Prediction

England to win

England 3-2 Belgium

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Varun Nair
ANALYST
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