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Big Match Breakdown: Belgium v England

Cian Carroll | 14 July 2018

Odds and tips ahead of the World Cup rematch

Belgium take on England in the World Cup third-place play-off in a game neither team will want to have been part of.

In fact, you’d forgive Roberto Martinez and Gareth Southgate if they’d mutually agreed to just skip the game, fly home and say they forgot all about it.

However, the show must go on. The Coral News Team preview the re-run of the Group G clash…

Head-to-Head

There’s no disguising England’s overall dominance in this fixture. The Three Lions have won 15 of the 22 previous clashes.

The pair have played twice in past World Cups with one win apiece. Obviously, the last time the two clashed was just over two weeks ago in the group stages.

Belgium came out on top 1-0 in a game neither side wanted to win.

Likely XIs

Martinez and Southgate are expected to rotate significantly here. Players who haven’t got many tournament minutes should come into the starting XIs.

For England, Jamie Vardy, Trent Alexander-Arnold. Phil Jones, Gary Cahill, and Ruben Loftus-Cheek could all start.

For Belgium, Dedrick Boyata, Thomas Vermaelen, Thorgan Hazard, and Youri Tielemans are in contention.

With Harry Kane and Romelu Lukaku both still on Golden Boot contention, expect the pair to be in from the start.

Key Battles

It really depends on who the managers choose to start the game. But England wilted badly under pressure against Croatia. So Southgate will need to address that issue.

When the Croatians pressed them, the England full-backs dropped deeper and deeper. Alexander-Arnold and Danny Rose need to press back and push higher up the field.

Belgium will continue to play their transitional attacking game under Martinez. No matter who plays, they’ll go at the Three Lions. Expect Batshuayi to cause Cahill and co. problems.

Match Odds

Belgium are the 6/5 favourites to win, with England 11/5 underdogs. The Draw is available at 13/5.

It’s certainly an intriguing game in its own little way. Although both sides will have much preferred to be playing on Sunday, there’s a bit more to this clash than the group game.

Southgate and Martinez will want to leave Russia on a high. The Red Devils have had an extra day’s rest and exited within normal time. They may not be as drained.

Surely this will be a bit more high-scoring than the previous encounter? The two teams have scored 26 goals between them in Russia and with potent attacks and dodgy defences, we could be in for a belter.

Over 2.5 Goals is 8/13. And Over 3.5 Goals is 6/4. Both Teams To Score is 1/2. In Blaise Matuidi and N’Golo Kante, France had the legs to shut down the creative talents of Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard.

Do England have those types of player? Not really. Belgium to win and Over 2.5 Goals in the game is 2/1.

Lukaku is on four goals for the tournament. The Manchester United striker looks dangerous against lower quality defences. He’s 5/4 to find the net Anytime.

Kane is on six and will be desperate to land the top goalscorer award. He’s Evens to hit the net Anytime.

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All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing