Both the teams of England and Belgium have qualified for the final 16 in the FIFA world cup 2018. Now, the deciding factor is which team will capture the top spot in their group G.
Belgium had always been a favorite in this group, especially after their comfortable win over Tunisia but the emphatic win that England had over Panama, has helped them to edge past the Belgians, albeit by a very small margin.
Whoever wins on June 28, will be finishing top in the group. And if the game is going for a draw, then it all comes to the fair play rules. The Kaliningrad stadium is waiting for the action to begin.
The English team has a good track record against their Belgium rivals. They have won 15 out of 21 matches played and met each other 2 times in the earlier world cups. One was a draw and the other was won by the Three Lions.
The grapevine suggests that Gareth Southgate might opt for a weaker team on Thursday, so that his players are fresh and raring to go at the knockout stage. Getting the advantage of the top spot in the group is not of primary importance now, at this stage. Belgium manager Roberto Martinez has already declared that his players will be on rotational basis for the last group match.
England has not seen a loss in their last 12 games and they have had a good start to the world cup till now. On the other hand, Belgium has won 6 of their last 7 matches, though they started the world cup campaign with a goalless draw against Portugal.
Team Belgium remains the favorites but England also showed good temperament when holding back Germany and Brazil in the recent past. The game between these 2 teams should be much closer one than expected by most.
Belgium team is termed as the ‘Golden Generation’, housing top rank players. But England are in very fine form and their manager too has made it clear that they would like to maintain that and move forward. So it is quality versus form, and predicting which one wins on a given day is tough.
One thing not to be ignored is the fact that whoever wins this match will end up topping the group and thus can avoid a stronger team in the knock out stage. Now that’s strategy to be thought upon.