England v Belgium Predictions, Betting Tips and Previews
June 24, 2018
Kaliningrad Stadium – World Cup Group G
England and Belgium meet in Kaliningrad on Thursday evening to decide who takes top spot in Group G. Both teams have already qualified for the knockout rounds and have identical records after the first two matches, meaning a draw would see disciplinary matters come into the reckoning to separate the two.
England have won 15 of the 19 fixtures they’ve played against Belgium, with the Red Devils winning just twice. The two sides have met each other twice at World Cup finals’, drawing in 1954 and England winning 1-0 in 1990. The last time they went head-to-head was in June 2012, with the Three Lions grabbing a 1-0 friendly victory.
Dele Alli will be hoping for a recall to the England starting XI after missing the victory over Panama through injury, though he is unlikely to be risked. Gareth Southgate may opt to rest players having already qualified and Marcus Rashford could start his first match at the finals. Belgium boss Roberto Martinez has already confirmed he’ll make changes, with Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku’s places in the starting XI under threat. Vincent Kompany won’t be risked as he’s nursed back to fitness.
England v Belgium Preview and Predictions
Group G has played out as many people expected, with England and Belgium easing their way into the round of 16. But with both nations scoring and conceding the same amount of goals so far, there’s plenty riding on the final match. To make matters more complicated though, a kinder route in the knockout rounds could open up for the team who finishes second.
Belgium are slight favourites for the match at around 17/10 and will be buoyed by their fine attacking performance in the 5-2 win over Tunisia. The Red Devils are unbeaten since September 2016 – a run of 21 matches. They have also kept four clean sheets from six games in 2018 and are at 15/4 to win to nil.
But England are in similar high spirits after demolishing Panama. It’s just the third time that the Three Lions have won their first two games at a World Cup finals and Gareth Southgate’s men have now gone more than a year undefeated. They’re at 19/10 to get the three points. The draw, which is at 21/10, will be enough for England to finish top, so long as they pick up fewer yellow cards than the Belgians.
Under 2.5 goals at 13/17
Both teams will probably make several changes and that rotation could mean neither England or Belgium will play with the fluidity they showed in the first two matches.
No to both teams to score at 9/8
In a match which is difficult to predict, the most important thing to both Southgate and Martinez will be to avoid suspensions and injuries rather than score goals.