Fifa World Cup 2018 Belgium vs England: Fight for pride & place in history

England vs BelgiumMATCH PREVIEW: By the Round of 16, England and Belgium were among the favourites to win the Fifa World Cup 2018 in Russia. But that’s not how it went for the two teams who will have to fight it out at the Saint Petersburg stadium today for the third place in the tournament.Both sides suffered defeat in the semi-finals earlier in the week. Belgium were 1-0 losers to France in St. Petersburg on Tuesday, while England were unable to make their early lead count against Croatia in Moscow on Wednesday and lost 1-2 to finalists Croatia after extra time.ALSO READ: England are coming home! Croatia to play France in the 2018 World Cup finalEngland manager Gareth Southgate has admitted the play-off is a game that no team wants to play, but he also said the match against Belgium offers the Brits the chance to finish the tournament on a winning note. The win can also give England their best finish since they won the competition in 1966.All 23 players in the English squad are fit and involved in training today, allaying fears Kieran Trippier had sustained a groin injury which would rule him out of the match.For Belgium, Thomas Meunier will be back into the team and has already stressed the importance of finishing third for the first time in their history. With plenty of English connections with the side, the Red Devils will be keen to surf on their psychological edge after earning their first win over the Three Lions in 82 years a fortnight ago.ALSO READ: French fry Belgian waffle with Umtiti goal in 1-0 win, book place in finalFor Belgium, who have a collection of world class players, a win would be the nation’s best result at the World Cup. They finished fourth in 1986.A sub-plot to the third place tie is the race to be the top-scorer in the tourney. England skipper Harry Kane is atop the charts with six goals to his name but Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku is just two goals behind him in the race for the Golden Boot. With one more goal Kane would become the highest scorer in the World Cup since 2002, when Brazil’s Ronaldo struck eight times, including twice in the final, as the South American heavyweights bagged a record fifth title. The Tottenham Hotspur star forward would be just the second England player to scoop the award, after Gary Lineker was the top scorer in 1986.——————————————————————————————————————————————————-LAST MEETING: Belgium edged England in Kaliningrad to win Group G, with Adnan Januzaj scoring a fine goal for the Red Devils in 28 June.HEAD-TO-HEAD: Apart from their earlier encounter in the current event, England and Belgium have faced off twice before at the FIFA World Cup: a pulsating 4-4 draw at Switzerland 1954 was followed 36 years later by a Round of 16 encounter at Italy 1990, which was decided by a fine goal by England’s David Platt in extra time (below).Throughout history, Belgium and England have played each other 22 times. The Three Lions have been the dominant performers with 15 wins, five draws and two losses. Belgium won the most recent meeting between the two sides in the group stages at Russia 2018.——————————————————————————————————————————————————-
TEAM SPEAK:
England football team during a practice sessionFIFA World Cup 2018: England football team (Photo: @dele_official)ENGLAND – England manager Gareth Southgate has admitted that the third place play-offs isn’t an ideal game from a player’s point of view.“The honest thing is, it’s not a game any team wants to play in,” said Southgate. However, he insisted that will not alter England’s approach as they look to achieve their best finish since they won the competition in 1966.“We’ll want to give a performance of huge pride, there’s no question about that,” said Southgate.“We feel we owe it as much to ourselves as our public to finish well, we want to finish the tournament well. We’ve set a high standard and we want t keep those standards right to the end.”Harry Kane said he was proud of England’s performance in the ongoing tournament despite the heart-breaking loss against the Croatia.“It’s been an amazing experience, I said before the tournament every player in the team is a winner but to win every game – it’s not always possible in sport. We’ve done extremely well—a lot better than people thought we would, and while it hurts now and will hurt for awhile, we can hold our heads high and be proud,” he said.——————————————————————————-
Belgium National teamBelgium National teamBELGIUM — Belgium manager Roberto Martinez has praised his players for their efforts in the current edition of the World Cup and said they deserve to finish on a high.“We want to finish on a high and these players deserve to finish on a high..You need to try to see the opportunity of finishing third at the World Cup. That doesn’t happen too often, so we need to understand that this is an important game,” the Spaniard said.“But I would accept it is very difficult when you had the ambition of getting to the final. It’s very difficult to prepare for the next game,” Martinez said.——————————————————————————————————————————————————-
POSSIBLE LINE-UPS:
Belgium: Thibaut Courtois; Jan Vertonghen, Vincent Kompany, Toby Alderweireld; Axel Witsel, Kevin De Bruyne, Nacer Chadli, Thomas Meunier; Marouane Fellaini, Eden Hazard; Romelu Lukaku​England: Jordan Pickford; Kyle Walker, John Stones, Harry Maguire; Kieran Trippier, Dele Alli, Jordan Henderson, Jesse Lingard, Fabian Delph; Raheem Sterling, Harry Kane.——————————————————————————————————————————————————-
BELGIUM VS ENGLAND: WHEN AND WHERE TO WATCHTime: 7:30 PM (IST)In today’s Group F match, Belgium vs England match will take place in St. Petersburg on Saturday, July 14, 2018, at 7:30 PM (IST). Iranian referee Alireza Faghani will watch over the proccedings.Belgium vs England match will be broadcast on Sony Ten 2, Sony Ten 2 HD, Sony ESPN, Sony ESPN HD in English Commentary and Sony Ten 3 and Sony 3 HD in Hindi Commentary.Belgium vs England match will be available for live streaming on Sony Liv also. And Both Airtel and Jio would broadcast the FIFA World Cup 2018 matches for free to their respective subscribers.——————————————————————————————————————————————————-
TRIVIA:
— For the record, European teams have claimed the third place in the past nine World Cups.— One more goal in the match against Belgium, and Harry Kane will be the highest scorer at a single World Cup since 2002: with a hat-trick, he would become the highest scorer since 1970.— Belgium will play for the opportunity to finish third for the first time in its history.
— Both teams emerged empty-handed from their last third place playoffs at the tournament. In 1986, Belgium took France to extra time but were eventually beaten 4-2 (below), while England succumbed in normal time to Italy at the 1990 event.
— The other two times Belgium and England met at the World Cup finals (1954 and 1990), the match had to be decided after extra time. The most recent of those meetings was in the Round of 16 in 1990 when England’s David Platt scored in the 119th minute to clinch a 1-0 victory for the Three Lions.
— At the 2018 World Cup, Belgium became the first team to win a match against opponents from five different confederations in a single edition of the tournament: versus Panama (CONCACAF), Tunisia (CAF), England (UEFA), Japan (AFC) and Brazil (CONMEBOL).— Belgium have yet to keep a clean sheet in their 14 World Cup knockout games, with 30 goals conceded in total. It’s the longest such run in the tournament’s history— Only Belgium (14) have scored more goals at Russia 2018 than England’s 12 – Croatia have also scored 12
Source: Business Standard