Today’s Predictions: England Vs Belgium
England 0 – 1 Belgium
The 47th match of the FIFA World Cup 2018 is one of the biggest matches of the group stages, as England face of against the in-form Belgians.
- Date : 28th June 2018
- Time : 11:30 PM (IST)
- Venue : Kailiningrad Stadium
England have surprised many with their dominating displays in the World Cup so far, leading many to believe this could be the first England team in recent years to post a decent challenge for the trophy. Belgium, on the other hand are looking absolutely dominant and will take some stopping.
FIFA World Cup Qualification
England had a near perfect qualification campaign, with 8 wins and two away draws against Slovakia and Scotland. They scored 18 and conceded just 3 goals in a favourable group with just Slovakia as their nearest challengers. They won the group with an 8-point margin, with Harry Kane leading the way with 5 goals.
Belgium dominated their way to World Cup qualification, scoring a record 43 goals while conceding only 6. Though they were placed in relatively easy group with Bosina – Herzegovina and Greece their only real challengers, The Red Devils delivered a strong statement of intent that their ‘Golden Generation’ is more than ready to live up to that tag. They won 9 matches and drew one to Greece, with Lukaku leading the way with 11 goals and Eden Hazard in stupendous form himself.
England have been unbeaten in their last 6 matches, with 3 draws and 3 wins. Credible draws against Brazil, Germany and Italy and a big win over The Netherlands helped Gareth Southgate’s young squad to gain some much needed confidence. Their most recent match against Costa Rica ended in a dominant 2-0 win.
Belgium are unbeaten in their last 4 games, as Roberto Martinez seems to have gotten the perfect formula for all their big name players to gel. Big wins against Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Costa Rica proved their potent attack can be devastating, while a 0-0 draw against Portugal was a good test for their defence.
England and Belgium in the World Cup So Far
England earned 3 crucial points in their opening game against Tunisia, with Harry Kane scoring an important brace, including a dramatic stoppage time winner. The 3 lions played attractive football but found it hard to break down an average defence, something they’ll have to work on.
Belgium were dominant as expected against Panama, with Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne eventually stepping up to assist Romelu Lukaku. The defence, along with Thibaut Courtois, is also looking confident and this bodes well for the side for the games ahead.
Head To Head Record
These two nations have met 6 times before, and Belgium have never ever managed to beat England, who have won twice and drawn 4 of those games.
Gareth Southgate had some tough decisions to make when it came to finalizing the 23 man World Cup squad. The biggest exclusion was Ryan Bertrand, dropped in favour of Danny Rose and Ashley Young. Chris Smalling couldn’t find a place either, while Adam Lallana and Jack Wilshere were deemed not fit enough to board the plane to Russia.
Belgium have one of the most formidable starting lineups in the tournament, with defensive cover cited as their only weakness. A major shock was the exclusion of AS Roma’s combative midfielder Radja Nainggolan from the final 23 man squad, a decision which forced the player to take immediate retirement from international football and sent shockwaves down the European football circuit. Belgium would be happy to have Michy Batshuayi back from a lengthy injury though.
Players To Watch Out For
Harry Kane is England’s best hope in recent years to fire them to World Cup glory, with the prolific marksman one of the favourites for the golden boot. His Spurs’ teammate Dele Alli along with Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling will aid him in attack. Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford and Chelsea hotshot Ruben Loftus Cheek have been impressive of late and could lock down a permanent spot in the starting lineup.
Belgium have an abundance of world class talent to choose from, none more so than Chelsea’s mercurial forward Eden Hazard. Widely considered as one of the best players in the world, this could finally be Hazard’s golden chance to prove that he is on the same level as Messi and Ronaldo. Kevin De Bruyne, arguably the Premier League’s best player last season will be pulling the strings in midfield, while Manchester United’s striker Romelu Lukaku would be gunning for the Golden Boot straight away.
England Vs Belgium Betting Odds And Key Statistics
- This is Belgium’s 13th World Cup appearance.
- England failed to qualify from the group stages for the first time since 1958, when they were knocked out in 2014.
- Both teams are equally poised for this clash, with literally nothing to separate them, as they are equal on points, goal difference, goals scored as well as goals conceded. Hence, we expect this match to end in a draw and would advise betting on the same.
- Harry Kane has successfully carried his club form to this tournament. And is one of the favourites to win the golden boot. Similarly, Romelu Lukaku has also scored 4 goals already, and we would recommend betting on either of them to open the scoring.
- Belgium won their first 4 games at the 2014 World Cup before being eliminated by Argentina in the quarterfinal. They are heavy favourites to reach the quarterfinal stage this time around as well.
This match could well be one of the most evenly contested matches of the group stage. However, we expect both these teams to keep things tight at the back, and eventually play out a draw.
Our Predicted Score line : England 1-1 Belgium