England, Belgium battle for top spot after Germany World Cup shock

Kristopher Nichols
June 28, 2018

While neither side have faced much in the way of opposition so far, with Tunisia and Panama their opponents to-date, victory for either would confirm their status as genuine contenders.

On the eve of the match which will decide who finishes top in Group G, Southgate dismissed suggestions that there would be any circumstances in which England would not play to win, despite second place seemingly guaranteeing an easier route in the knockout stages.

'I don't know how you would mentally approach a game like that.

"It's huge, no matter what the situation is within the group because everyone is watching".

Now the Three Lions are ahead of Belgium on the table thanks to the fact that the Red Devils have accrued three yellow cards to England's two.

"I think Roberto will rest them, I don't think that is going to be an issue".

"They have a brilliant opportunity first and foremost to play in a World Cup, they want to show what they can do". The Leicester City man scored 20 goals in the Premier League last term, and his searing pace gives the Three Lions a fine alternative to Kane.

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Gareth Southgate's exciting squad have found themselves sitting atop their group after two games, but only on fair play points.

The mood within the group is harmonious, with the lack of tabloid exposes on in-camp exploits telling as England make headlines at home for the right reasons during a major tournament. France would be favored to make it to the semifinals over the other three teams, and while coach Didier Deschamps has faced fierce criticism over his tactical decisions, France was a popular pre-tournament pick to lift the World Cup at the end of the tournament.

Remember, England have not gone past the quarter-finals stage since 1990!

"This World Cup so far has been so unpredictable", he argued. They will have to play the winners of a round of 16 game between Mexico and current outright favourites for the competition, Brazil. "But ourselves from the outside, we can look in and say "this team has a real chance". The two sides will look to outclass each other on Thursday in the hope of finishing top of Group G. "Southgate believes Vardy's ability to hit teams on the counter-attack could be vital for England against better opposition, and the Belgium clash gives him the ideal opportunity to prove that".

"We have no idea who, when or where we will play in the next round".

"We want to perform well but I think the priority is not to win", he said.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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