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13 Jul 2018

World Cup 2018: Squad News, Preview, Betting Odds And Prediction For England Vs Belgium Match

The penultimate fixture of this year's World Cup will be played between Belgium and England to contest for the bronze medal of the tournament at the Krestovsky Stadium, Saint Petersburg.
The third-place play-off has a bad reputation for the match that nobody will remember once the tournament ends, viewed as a meaningless game between two teams who have already lost – they would no doubt rather be playing in the final itself, or not at all.

Nevertheless, it will set up to be an interesting tie between Belgium and England who crashed out at the semi-final stage to France and Croatia respectively, and a chance for the sides' fringe players to have a run out at the World Cup.

With pressure off, it has the potential to be a match that will invite more open play and more goals – something that games are often devoid of heading towards the final.

Here's everything you need to know ahead of the third-place play-off on Saturday.

Squads & Team News

Position              Belgium players

Goalkeepers       Courtois, Mignolet, Casteels
Defenders       Alderweireld, Boyata, Vertonghen, Kompany, Vermaelen, Meunier
Midfielders       Tielemans, Witsel, De Bruyne, Dembele, Dendoncker, Fellaini, Hazard, Mertens,                                  Chadli
Forwards                Batshuayi, Lukaku, Hazard, Januzaj, Carrasco
Full-back Thomas Meunier is available for selection for the Red Devils, after missing the semi-final through due to suspension.

Belgium could field a stronger side than England as their loss to France wasn't quite as physically strenuous as the defeat to Belgium.

Potential Belgium XI: Courtois; Alderweireld, Vermaelen, Boyata; Meunier, Fellaini, Witsel, De Bruyne; Mertens, Batshuayi, Carrasco.

Position England players

Goalkeepers      Pickford, Butland, Pope
Defenders      Walker, Stones, Maguire, Rose, Alexander-Arnold, Young, Cahill, Jones, Trippier
Midfielders       Henderson, Dier, Alli, Lingard, Sterling, Loftus-Cheek, Delph
Forwards               Kane, Vardy, Rashford, Danny Welbeck

England were forced to finish the game against Croatia with 10 men after Kieran Trippier limped off towards extra time with a groin injury, and is expected to remain sidelined on Saturday.

Following the defeat, Gareth Southgate is likely to be making a host of chances to his side, as Kyle Walker and Jordan Henderson also needed to be taken off. The game against Belgium is also a chance to give England youngsters and those who haven't been able to play a part a chance to feature, such as Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold and Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

Potential England XI: Butland; Jones, Cahill, Maguire; Alexander-Arnold, Dier, Delph, Rose; Loftus-Cheek, Lingard; Vardy.

Betting & Match Odds

Belgium are 6/5 favourites to win the tie according to dabblebet, while a draw between the two is priced at 13/5. A win for England is available at 9/4.


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