FIFA World Cup prediction: England V Belgium

The final two games are set in the FIFA World Cup, with Belgium and England battling to see who finishes third in the premiere international football event.

Both teams had realistic chances of reaching the final, but Belgium fell short against France while England failed to beat Croatia.

Despite not reaching the goal, the Red Devils and Three Lions still have a lot to battle for as the distinction of third place is given to the winner of this match.

It should be an intriguing match-up as these two already met earlier in the group stages in a Group G battle. Below is a brief background on their first clash, key players for both teams and a prediction on who will take third place in the World Cup.

FIRST ENCOUNTER

Meeting in the final game of Group G, both Belgium and England already secured their spots in the knockout stages so it was a battle to see who would come out of the cluster on top.

In that match-up, both teams opted to field in their secondary line-up, with England sitting out players like Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling and Deli Alli. For the Red Devils, Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku and Kevin De Bruyne sat out as they were likely given a rest to avoid any injury heading into the knockout stages.

It was a rather tight contest, with the possession only slightly favouring Belgium 53 per cent to England’s 47, with the Three Lions taking six shots against Belgium’s seven throughout the game.

However, it was Adnan Januzaj’s goal in the 51st minute that handed the Belgians a 1-0 lead to win Group G.

With that, England are looking to get revenge and win in a bigger stage, taking third place in the World Cup.

KEY PLAYERS FOR BELGIUM

The Red Devils have a lot of players that can turn the tide to their favour but Eden Hazard is undoubtedly the engine that makes Belgium move.

His incredible movement and dribbling leaves defences in disarray and he can takeover the game when needed.

In five matches played so far, Hazard has scored two goals, one from the penalty spot. He also has two assists to his name and has completed 179 passes out of 209 attempts.

Kevin De Bruyne should also be a player that England should watch out for as he has the speed and strength that is difficult to contend with. Being adept with how English football is played, De Bruyne is used to the physical nature that the Three Lions will bring.

Though only finding the back of the net once this World Cup, De Bruyne stays busy when on the pitch and should always be checked by the defences.

KEY PLAYERS FOR ENGLAND

England may have a similar mould as skipper Harry Kane is also the player to watch for the Three Lions.

The Tottenham Hotspur forward has scored six goals in five appearances in the World Cup so far. He may have had poor games in the last two knockout stage matches so he is due a rebound and it should be timely against the Belgians.

Another player to watch out for is Kieran Trippier who has been a revelation for the Three Lions in the competition so far.

With only 12 international caps so far, Trippier has already scored once in the World Cup and has played a big part in England’s set-pieces goals.

Trippier is doubtful to play in this game and if he is not available, he will surely be missed by England.

He is undoubtedly one of the future stars that will represent the country for a long time.

PREDICTION

If things went their way, this could have easily been the World Cup final. The amount of talent on the pitch for this third-place battle should result in a very intriguing game from start to finish.

The familiarity from the previous clash should also add a different facet to the game which should be very appealing.

With that said, Belgium’s golden generation may be a little too much to handle for the young Three Lions squad. England have overachieved so far and will put up a spirited battle, but expect Belgium to get a close victory.

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