Match Preview

Belgium vs. England Predictions, Betting Tips and Match Preview

England take on Belgium for the second time in the tournament in the third-place play-off match on Saturday. England lost to the Red Devils in their final group game 1-0, where Gareth Southgate opted to field an understrength team as his side had already qualified for the knockout stages at that point.

Belgium’s tournament adventure came to an end against France, as Roberto Martinez’ side lost 1-0, with many of their leading players criticising the way that France approached the game, opting for an overly defensive style. It was only Martinez’ second loss since taking charge of the Belgian national side and his first since 2016.

Like Belgium, England’s hopes of winning the W. Cup came to an abrupt end against Croatia on Wednesday night, losing 2-1 after extra time. Kieran Trippier’s superb free kick after 5 minutes fired the Three Lions ahead, further demonstrating their excellence at set pieces, before they conceded in the second half. Gareth Southgate’s men looked tired by the end and they went down to 10 men as Trippier was withdrawn late on. Dele Alli also didn’t look match fit, while Harry Kane failed to have the impact that many expected.

Belgium vs. England Predictions

I can’t see England winning this game. They looked exhausted by the end of the game against Croatia, whereas Belgium will be fresh. They’ll put out a full-strength team, unlike what happened in the group, and they should have enough to beat Southgate’s men.

Belgium vs. England Betting Tips

  • Belgium to win 2-0: 12/1
  • Belgium win and over 2.5 goals: 2/1
  • Belgium to win in 90 minutes: 23/20

Head to Head

  • England and Belgium meet for the second time at the 2018 W. Cup, having also met at the group stage – Belgium won 1-0.
  • Before losing 1-0 to Belgium at this year’s W. Cup, England had lost just one of their previous 21 meetings with them (W15 D5).
  • Belgium and England are the first teams to face each other twice at a W. Cup tournament since Turkey played Brazil twice at the 2002 W. Cup.
  • Belgium have played in this fixture once before, finishing fourth in 1986 after losing 4-2 against France.
  • Belgium have lost just two of their 26 matches under Roberto Martinez, his first in charge in September 2016 (0-2 vs. Spain) and his most recent (0-1 vs. France in the semi-final).
  • England had 15 shots on target in their first two 2018 W. Cup matches against Tunisia (8) and Panama (7) but have had just eight in their four games since, exactly two in each match.
  • England’s only other match in a W. Cup third-place play-off match was at the 1990 W. Cup. They faced Italy and lost 2-1.
  • Striker Romelu Lukaku has scored 23 goals in his 23 appearances under Roberto Martinez for Belgium, though he’s not scored in any of his last three.
  • Harry Kane has had just one shot on target in his last three W. Cup matches, his penalty goal against Colombia in the last 16. Kane hasn’t had a shot on target in his last four hours and 33 minutes of action at the W. Cup.
  • England’s defeat to Croatia in their last match was their 100th competitive defeat. Each of their last six competitive defeats have been at major tournaments (five at the W. Cup, one at the European Championships).

Belgium Team News

Koen Casteels (Wolfsburg), Thibaut Courtois (Chelsea), Simon Mignolet (Liverpool), Toby Alderweireld (Tottenham Hotspur), Dedryck Boyata (Celtic), Vincent Kompany (Manchester City), Thomas Meunier (Paris Saint-Germain), Thomas Vermaelen (Barcelona), Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham Hotspur), Yannick Carrasco (Dalian Yifang), Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City), Mousa Dembele (Tottenham Hotspur), Leander Dendoncker (Anderlecht), Marouane Fellaini (Manchester United), Eden Hazard (Chelsea), Thorgan Hazard (Borussia Monchengladbach), Adnan Januzaj (Real Sociedad), Dries Mertens (Napoli), Youri Tielemens (Monaco), Axel Witsel (Tianjin Quanjian), Michy Batshuayi (Borussia Dortmund), Nacer Chadli (WBA), Romelu Lukaku (Manchester United)

England Team News

Jack Butland (Stoke), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Burnley), Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Harry Maguire (Leicester), Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham Hotspur), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Ashley Young (Manchester United), Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur), Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Crystal Palace), Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Jamie Vardy (Leicester), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal)

Words by @dominictrant