Sport

‘Strange match’ awaits England and Belgium

‘Strange match’ awaits England and Belgium”

England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford would happily pocket three points and a clean sheet if Belgium decide to take it easy in Kaliningrad, insisting there is no chance of the Three Lions dialling down their own intensity.

If England go on to win that last-16 game, they will face the victor of the last-16 tie between Group E winners Brazil and Group F runners-up Mexico in the quarter-finals.

England, though, appear more bullish about the fixture and goalkeeper Pickford sees no need for split priorities. "We have to keep building that belief and building those experiences". Even if they don't want to. The Senegalese are second on the standings, however, they are on level points with Japan. Mexico or Switzerland would likely be the path for second place in England's group. This is the best way to judge and learn where the team stands.

"From the scan, it was clear that there was no further damage but it is still uncomfortable", Martinez said.

"We don't want to take our foot off the gas with the performances we are putting in right now", England midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek said after the 6-1 pummeling of Panama.

Gareth Southgate has spoken about the current England team's success from dead balls, saying that he had identified corners and free-kicks as a valuable tool.

If England beat Belgium and top Group G, they could face some tough opposition. "Let's focus on Belgium".

It remains to be seen if Southgate will make a number of changes to his side for the game against Belgium in Kaliningrad or if he will stick to the strongest XI possible.

Raheem Sterling will be rested while Danny Rose, Eric Dier, Gary Cahill and Jamie Vardy are all in contention to start.

Crawford spoke about the likes of Germany and Argentina struggling in the early stages of the tournament but admitted he was pleased that at least the South Americans had qualified: "It's the World Cup, people want to see the best players - which Germany and Argentina definitely possess". Having enjoyed success by winning the FA Cup with unfancied Wigan playing attractive football for a team with one of the lowest budgets in the Premier League Martinez moved on to Everton where, after an encouraging first season, things turned soured at the end of his third year.

"We have no idea who, when or where we will play in the next round. It gives opportunities for a few lads to get some minutes under their belt".

If Kane and Lukaku don't get on the field, two of the three top goal-scorers in Russian Federation will be missing.

Confidence was running high after the result, and many fans believe England need to keep winning rather than try and settle for a potentially easier route to the final.



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