Harry Kane set to start against Belgium

Lynette Rowe
June 28, 2018

England have been urged to keep their World Cup momentum going as millions of fans across the country prepare to watch their group decider against Belgium. I don't think it would be professional of us to put those players at a risk of missing the knockout phase.

Leading up to the game, Belgium's manager Roberto Martinez said beating England is not a priority.

"We need to keep winning football matches and we want to breed a mentality that everybody in our squad wants to constantly win", said the manager, who has created a relaxed atmosphere for his young charges.

"It's going to be six or seven players".

"We are delighted to be in the next round, [the Belgium] game is the one we are focused on and we want to win the group". The over-under on total goals scored in this 2018 World Cup match is 2.5.

"Equally, he is the captain and he knows he will be judged on how far we go as a team".

Belgium and England may have already qualified for the last-16 of the World Cup, but their match tomorrow may have huge importance in their bid to be world champions.

"We've not won a knockout game since 2006, why we would be starting to plot which would be a better venue for our semi-final is beyond me really".

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Prime Minister Theresa May will be in Brussels for a European Union summit at the same time as the game, but a senior United Kingdom official said she would be made aware of the score "if needs be".

The Telegraph reports that key men, such as captain Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling will be rested, while the manager won't risk Kyle Walker, a player now on a yellow card and at risk of suspension.

But Southgate did concede he would probably make some changes for a clash that neither side needs to win. They play in the same teams as the English players.

'Apart from maybe the two goalkeepers and Danny Welbeck tonight, everybody will be able to say they have played a part.

However, due to results elsewhere, the team that finishes second in the group will end up on the easier side of the draw for the knockout stages, avoiding a potential showdown with Brazil in the quarterfinals.

Belgium, too, have made significant changes with Premier League stalwarts Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku all dropped to the bench.

Aliou Cisse's Senegal will attempt to succeed where the rest of their continental rivals failed, with Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria and Tunisia all out.

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