Preview - Belgium vs England 14 July 18

Started by Harry85, Jul 13, 2018, 01:03 PM

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Jul 13, 2018, 01:03 PM Last Edit: Jul 13, 2018, 01:32 PM by Harry85
World Cup Third Place Play-off
Belgium vs England
Saturday, July 14th, 2018
23:00pm, (GMT +8 Timing)
Stadium: Saint Petersburg Stadium

Last five matches form: W W W W L
Average goals per match last ten: 2.50
Average goals against per match last ten: 0.70
Top Scorer: Romelu Lukaku (40)

Last five matches form: W L D W D
Average goals per match last ten:  1.80
Average goals against per match last ten: 0.80
Top Scorer: Harry Kane (19)

So near and yet so far for Belgium and England as their bid to reach the World Cup Final came up just short. Having each hoped to be involve in the biggest game on the planet, they are instead faced with this battle for third place.

This will be the second meeting between the sides at this years World Cup, with Belgium coming out on top 1-0 in a group stage game where both sides had already qualified.

It can't be easy to get motivated for this game following such disappointment, but hopefully the players will view this as a positive and one last opportunity to shine on the biggest stage of all.

These two experienced pretty similar exits from the competition, being on top early in their semi-finals but slowly but surely being ground down. Belgium were at least spared extra-time though and England did look very tired towards the end of their defeat to Croatia.

Kyle Walker, Kieran Trippier and Jordan Henderson are all doubts for England, although Gareth Southgate may be tempted to give a number of his squad players a run out in any case. Belgium look set to be at full strength.

Much like the first meeting between these sides, there's really not all that much on the line here. Overall the advantage does seem to lie with Belgium though. Roberto Martinez's men may well be the better side in any case, but will also benefit from having had an extra days rest and fewer injury concerns. We expect the Red Devils to come out on top.

Prediction: Belgium 2 - 1 England


Half time: 1 - 0
Full time: 2 - 0
Shots: 9 - 13
Shots on target: 6 - 6
Corner Kicks: 4 - 5
Possession: 42% - 58%

Axel Witsel was booked for Belgium in this one, whilst England's John Stones and Harry Maguire also had their names taken by referee Alireza Faghani.

This wouldn't have been the match either of these sides really wanted to play in, but unlike the first game between the sides - a meaningless Group contest - both sides did at least put out a first choice eleven in this one.

It was Belgium who flew out of the traps here, taking the lead in just the fourth minute. A trademark lightning fast counterattack resulting in Nacer Chadli's ball into the box being finished off by Thomas Meunier racing into the area. Straightforward finish from the marauding fullback from around six yards.

Eric Dier came agonisingly close to levelling matters soon after the break. Played in on the right-hand side of the area, his dinked finish beat the keeper, only for Toby Alderweirald to clear off the line.

Belgium then really began to turn it up a notch, playing some quite scintillating football at times. Meunier very nearly scoring what would have been the goal of the tournament, only to be denied by Jordan Pickford.

Any hope England had of getting back into this was ended in the 82nd minute. Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne playing in Chelsea's Eden Hazard to dispatch past Pickford into the bottom left corner.

A disappointing end for England. A semi final spot was probably still better than most expected prior to the tournament though, and as a relatively young side, their best days may lie ahead.

They may not have won the trophy, but this was still the greatest ever performance from a Belgian side at the World Cup Finals, and when in full flow they certainly look to be one of the best sides on the planet at present.

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