England v Belgium - Preview and possible lineups

Jack Butland

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A gut-wrenching 2-1 loss to Croatia after extra-time denied England a shot at a second World Cup triumph, instead setting up a consolation game against familiar foes Belgium for a third-place play-off on July 14, 2018.

Belgium defeated England 2-0 today in Saint Petersburg to seal third place at this summers World Cup in Russian Federation.

Goals from Thomas Meunier and Eden Hazard eventually secured Roberto Martínez's side their best ever finish at the finals, though Southgate can spy a bright future for his young side.

It was the first third-place play-off to feature two teams that had met already in the group stage, and it featured much of the strangeness of that dead-rubber Group G clash all those weeks ago in Kaliningrad, with changes made on both sides from the teams that lost their respective semi-finals.

But England's Kane is favoured to take home the Golden Boot prize for the top scorer in Russian Federation after scoring six goals so far.

What the game does have at stake is a shootout for the Golden Boot between Harry Kane and Romelu Lukaku.

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Along the way, Belgium had to rally from 2-0 down for a 3-2 win in the round-of-16 game against Japan, had to beat five-time champion Brazil in the quarterfinals and beat England twice.

"But we have high motivation to perform, we have the chance to win a medal at a World Cup, which only one other England team has ever done". A similar outing as the one in England's previous tie against Belgium should help him cement his place in Gareth Southgate's squad for a long time.

England matched its best World Cup result - fourth in 1990 - since winning the tournament for the only time in 1966.

A combination of file pictures shows Belgium and England fans during the Russian Federation 2018 World Cup football tournament.

After they play Belgium they will check out on Sunday morning and fly home to Birmingham Airport, although officials have warned fans at home not to come and see the players.

Who will walk away with a meaningless third place finish?

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"There may be different faces but I think the roles will be very similar", added Martinez, who was celebrating his 45th birthday on Friday.

"The honest thing is, it's not a game any team wants to play in", said Southgate, whose side has drawn praise for the way they have briefly united a country bitterly divided over Brexit. While Loftus-Cheek was decent, Delph did nothing of note and Dier struggled in midfield against Tielemans and Kevin De Bruyne.

In 1954, television came for soccer: The Swiss World Cup was the first to be televised and the first to be immortalized in official film, a serious challenge for a competition still learning about itself.

And that perhaps wasn't the best approach to take as Belgium looked set to go for the kill from the get-go. We will want to give a performance of huge pride. Belgium has struck first thanks to a goal by Thomas Meunier, who was suspended for the semifinal due to yellow cards.

Southgate responded to the deficit by introducing Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard in place of Sterling and Danny Rose at the interval. In goal, Jordan Pickford is likely to be afforded a breather, with Jack Butland coming in for England's final game.

"We'll either go home having shown improvement and equaled every team that has left our shores", Southgate told ITV before the match.

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