The clash between England and Belgium will decide which of these two teams will go into the knockout stage as the leader of the Group G. Both teams have the same number of points, as well exactly the same goal difference. Belgium is below England right now only because they’ve received more bookings. So, it’s fair to expect Belgium to go out attacking on Thursday evening at the Kaliningrad Stadium. Can England strike back?
After smashing Panama 6:1, the atmosphere in England locker-room must be fantastic. Their players are now confident they can go far on this World Cup. But, maybe that optimism isn’t well justified considering that they haven’t faced a really tough challenge so far. Actually, the game with Belgium seems like the opportunity to see how good they really are.
Southgate’s boys seem powerful in all areas of the game, although their defense does seem weaker than their attack. After all, they allowed a goal against Panama, a team that’s much, much weaker than Belgium. We’ll see how they’ll do against super-skillful Belgians.
On the other hand, England’s final third seems fantastic. Harry Kane is the top scorer on this tournament at the moment, with 5 goals to his name so far. He definitely seems capable of ruining Belgium’s plans. But, in order to score, Kane needs to get the ball from his midfielders. And that’s exactly where the crucial battle will take place.
In order to get anything out of this match, England need to do well in the middle of the pitch, which is where Belgium seem to be the strongest. For this reason, Southgate might decide to go with a little bit more conservative strategy, putting Eric Dier at the position of the half-back. This would reduce their attacking potential, but would add a lot to their defensive power.
England have the luxury to defend, while Belgium need to attack if they want to finish the group stage on the top of the table. Winning this game would definitely give them a lot of confidence ahead of the knockout stage, which is exactly what they need if they plan to reach the final stages of the tournament.
Obviously, Belgium have amazing players, especially in the midfield and on the wing. Eden Hazard seems to be their most dangerous player, who is expected to cause a lot of problems to England’s defense. De Bruyne also seems like a player who can pull all the strings in the midfield and create good chances for Lukaku, their most lethal player.
But, Belgium defense might not be that good. Surely, on paper, they look really strong, but the thing is that they seemed somewhat sluggish in the previous two games, especially against Tunisia where they allowed two goals.
Pickford – Stones, Maguire, Walker, Trippier, Young – Dier, Henderson, Alli, Sterling – Kane
Courtois – Vertonghen, Kompany, Alderweireld – Witsel, De Bruyne, Meunier, Carrasco – Hazard, Mertens, Lukaku
England vs. Belgium Match Prediction
This game has the potential to be one of the most entertaining matches on the whole tournament. Both sides have already qualified, so they can look at this game as an opportunity to test themselves and get ready for the Round of 16. Furthermore, both sides are extremely powerful in the attack, so it seems almost impossible that we won’t see a lot of goals.
England vs. Belgium Betting Tips
- BTS @1.80 (bet365)
- Over 2.5 Goals @2.10 (bet365)
- Over 1.5 Goals Half Time @3.25 (bet365)
- BTS Half Time @5.00 (Unibet)