Big Match Breakdown: Group G: England v Belgium
Nick Murphy | 28 June 2018
World Cup odds and preview
England and Belgium are both guaranteed of their place in the last-16 of the World Cup ahead of tonight’s clash in Kaliningrad.
The two nations are sat joint on six points after seeing off Tunisia and Panama respectively in their opening two group matches.
The Three Lions currently top Group G courtesy of their superior fair-play record. But a second-place finish would provide a kinder route towards July’s final.
It’s all set up for an intriguing encounter this evening – and one that the Coral News Team have previewed with a Big Match Breakdown…
This will be the first meeting between the two nations since 2012. Danny Welbeck scored the only goal that day as a Roy Hodgson-led England prevailed 1-0 at Wembley. That was the Three Lions’ 15th victory in 21 matches against The Red Devils, who have not won inside 90 minutes against England since 1936.
David Platt’s dramatic extra-time winner proved the difference the last time the two nations met at the World Cup in 1990.
Wholesale changes are expected by both managers ahead of the match. Gareth Southgate has intimated he could make as many as eight changes as he looks to freshen up his side. Eric Dier, Gary Cahill, Danny Rose, Fabian Delph, Dele Alli, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Marcus Rashford are all expected to come in.
It’s a similar story for Roberto Martinez, who will leave out Jan Vertonghen, Kevin De Bruyne, Thomas Meunier, Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku through suspension or injury. Michy Batshuayi, Vincent Kompany, Nacer Chadli and Marouane Fellaini are expected to be just four of the beneficiaries.
It’s difficult to predict how both sides will approach this game knowing that a second-place finish in the group will ensure an easier run to the final. A cagey contest could be on the cards as a result.
Regardless, England will cause problems with their pacey forward players up against the ageing and out-of-form Kompany. Set-pieces should also prove a vital component of the Three Lions’ attacking play, with Cahill and Stones both providing a major threat in the opposition penalty area.
Belgium should dominate the midfield with Fellaini and Mousa Dembele, with Batshuayi providing a fast and powerful focal point up-front. Adnan Januzaj and Nacer Chadli provide pace, but not a lot of defensive cover down the flanks.
Our traders make Belgium the narrow outsiders at 21/10. You can back England at 29/20, with the draw available at 2/1. Both nations have been free-scoring in their matches so far. It’s even-money for Both Teams to Score this evening.
England’s centre-halves have proved a genuine threat from set-pieces. Cahill should return to the side tonight and is 12/1 Anytime. Batshuayi is considered the main threat for Belgium at 15/8 Anytime, with midfield wrecking ball Fellaini a slightly longer price at 10/3.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing