FIFA World Cup: England vs Belgium preview

Two of the most impressive teams at the 2018 World Cup clash on Thursday in a match that will decide who wins Group G, England take on Belgium at Kaliningrad Stadium. The two teams have last met in a friendly match in 2012, which England won 1-0 with a goal from Danny Welbeck. The last World Cup meeting between the two nations was in the last sixteen in 1990 and England won that one 1-0 as well thanks to an extra-time goal from David Platt. Belgium have not won any of the previous five meetings against England in all competitions.

England had a bit of a scare in their first match at the 2018 FIFA World Cup as Tunisia seemed capable of holding them to a 1-1 draw, but Harry Kane scored in stoppage time and then bagged a hat-trick in the impressive 6-1 demolition job of Panama. Manager Gareth Southgate was quite pleased with his players' efforts so far and when asked whether he would consider resting a few men against Belgium he didn't offer a conclusive response. However, Southgate did say that he would like his squad to "keep momentum".

Belgium had lots of fun in both matches so far, they started with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Panama and then played cat and mouse with Tunisia in a 5-2 victory. Romelu Lukaku scored twice in each of those two matches and, along with Harry Kane, looks like the most in-form striker in the competition. Head coach Roberto Martinez has admitted that he will try to rest some of his key players because qualification is already secured for Belgium, so people like Romelu Lukaku might start on the bench.

Probable line-ups:

England: Pickford - Walker, Stones, Maguire - Trippier, Henderson, Alli, Lingard, Rose - Kane, Rashford

Belgium: Courtois - Alderweireld, Boyata, Vertonghen - Meunier, De Bruyne, Dembele, Fellaini, Carrasco - Batshuayi, T. Hazard

My prediction: 1-1 draw, it should be a pretty good match despite the changes in the Belgium line up.

Here are the odds for the match at Bet365:

England win - 2.90
Draw - 3.10
Belgium win - 2.80

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