FIFA World Cup 2018: All about England vs Belgium
FIFA World Cup 2018 is braced for a blockbuster match on Thursday when heavyweights England and Belgium take on each other in a crucial Group G encounter. Both sides have already qualified for the round of 16 and it is a battle which will decide the table toppers of Group G. Here's our match preview.
Belgium have major issues in team selection
25-year-old Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku is set to miss the tie after he suffered an ankle injury against Tunisia. Dries Mertens, too, is doubtful with skipper Eden Hazard battling a calf problem. Belgium could be forced to keep the trio of Kevin De Bruyne, Thomas Meunier and Jan Vertonghen on the bench as they are one card away from ban.
Who will finish on top?
England and Belgium are level on points, besides also having same goal difference and goals scored. In case of a tie, we could see disciplinary records coming into picture to decide which team tops the group. If it remains the same, as well, then drawing lots would be put to place. Notably, England have an outstanding record in 21 meetings between the two sides.
What are the views from the camps?
England manager Gareth Southgate stated that they will not change their style of play. He added that both in attack and defense, the players need to perform at a high level. Belgium manager Roberto Martinez said that anybody could play in the side against England.
Stat attack - England vs Belgium
The last time these two sides met at the World Cup, in 1990, England defeated Belgium by 1-0. Both teams have scored eight goals, so far, in this campaign. Harry Kane (5) could equal the record of Russia's Salenko for most goals scored in group matches (6). Belgium have won their opening two games for the fifth time at the World Cup.
Timing, TV listing, venue and much more
The match is going to be held at Kaliningrad Stadium with kick-off at 11:30 PM IST. The match can be watched live on the Sony Ten Network in both English and Hindi commentary. One can stream the match live on Sony LIV app.