Gareth Southgate makes fewer changes than Belgium for Group G decider


Both teams have already qualified for the knock-out stages of the competition following wins in their first two games in Group G.

England manager Gareth Southgate is poised to give Eric Dier his first start in this World Cup, while Ruben Loftus-Cheek who is a booking away from suspension and Dele Alli who suffered a muscle problem against Tunisia are unlikely to feature against Belgium.

If England finish second in their group, they would play Colombia in the last 16 of the World Cup, which is harder than playing Japan, but it would mean an easier draw after that.

As it stands - thanks to a few quirky results - one side of the draw appears considerably more hard. Top spot is on the line in the game, but England may want to look at finishing second to avoid some of the bigger teams on the side of the draw.

Southgate acknowledges there is a balance to be struck between keeping his side fresh and injury-free and maintaining the momentum they have gained, particularly from the 6-1 crushing of Panama.

What makes the matchup particularly intriguing is the fact that both England and Belgium head into the game tied on points and with identical goal differences, having each scored eight goals and conceded two.

You can still pick your team at any stage and share it on social media. The only thing yet to be decided is who will progress as group victor.

More news: Qualcomm's Snapdragon 1000 can outrival Intel Y/U for Windows 10 PCs

The Three Lions now hold a slight advantage in Group G over their opponents, owing to a better disciplinary record, though many had talked of England looking to lose to Belgium in order to finish second and have a more favourable path to the final on paper.

"But I think it's the same like Belgium they have a great attack and then the defence there might be some weakness". We want to perform well but the priority is not to win.

"That´s the reality. We wanted to qualify, we´ve done that". Do you rest players with at least one and potentially four games to come between now and 15 July?

"We have no idea who, when or where we will play", said Southgate. Players have been in very demanding games.

"We have to go out to play well in every game and to try and win every game". They finished runners-up to Croatia and are now seeded on the same side of the bracket as whoever wins Group G.

"If I go and headbutt Roberto in the last five minutes, then you'll know that maybe we're taking a different approach to getting through", Southgate joked.