World Cup: England, Belgium face off in dead rubber tie

Both sides are on six points and have already qualified for the last 16, which has resulted in debate about whether it would be better to finish first or second in the group

England vs Belgium
Venue: Kaliningrad Stadiu
Kick off: 7pm

England and Belgium could both rest players when they meet in their final World Cup Group G match in Kaliningrad this evening.
Both sides are on six points and have already qualified for the last 16, which has resulted in debate about whether it would be better to finish first or second in the group.
The winners and runners-up will end up on different sides of the draw and could not meet again until the final.
The winner of the match will top the group while in the event of a draw, disciplinary points will decide the group winner.
England are currently ahead having picked up two yellow cards to Belgium’s three.
Belgium manager Roberto Martinez has already intimated he could make as many as nine changes for the game, but Gareth Southgate would not be drawn on how many he would make, despite confirming Eric Dier would make his first start.
“In terms of our team, I don’t want to be obstructive but I don’t want to give our opposition any help with what our team might be,” he said.
“I think the intensity of the game will be good because the players that come in when you make changes have a high level of motivation.
“They have an opportunity, first and foremost, to play in a World Cup and they want to show what they can do because one of the key things for me is that everybody is ready to come in, not only for this game but the games beyond
that.”
“We have to go out to play well in every game and to try and win every game. That’s straightforward in my mind.”
Kyle Walker and Ruben Loftus-Cheek may not be risked as both have already been cautioned and would miss the following game were they to be booked again.
Southgate must also weigh up whether to select his captain Harry Kane, who remains the tournament’s leading scorer with five goals.
Belgium could rest Romelu Lukaku and Eden Hazard after both players suffered injuries in their previous match against Tunisia.
Martinez, who knows English football well after spells with Swansea, Wigan and Everton, was complementary of Gareth Southgate’s work, leading the country to wins in their first two World Cup group games for only the third time in history.
“For me, obviously, I am on the outside looking in, and what I see is Gareth Southgate has brought all his success from under-21 level and has developed an England culture,” he said.
“I think there is a clear structure, there has been a real tactical awareness, there has been a change of system to go into different qualifying games.
“They have found a system that suits this generation. There is a youth about them, an energy, a belief and a real desire.”

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