Jul 14, 2018
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World Cup 2018: Causes to observe England v Belgium

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World Cup 2018: Causes to observe England v Belgium

Emotional scenes as England gamers react to semi-final defeat
2018 World Cup: third-place play-off, England v Belgium
Venue: Saint Petersburg Date: Saturday, 14 July
Protection: Dwell Radio 5 dwell; Textual content commentary on-line

It wasn’t meant to finish this fashion.

England’s World Cup journey was supposed to come back to a wonderful conclusion in Moscow on Sunday, with Harry Kane lifting the trophy to delirium in fan parks, pubs and residing rooms throughout the nation.

Wednesday’s semi-final defeat by Croatia leaves followers with the comparatively unappealing prospect of a 3rd/fourth-place play-off with Belgium in Saint Petersburg on Saturday.

The temptation is to disregard the sport, neglect about it, start your World Cup detox by going out into the sunshine and discovering one thing higher to do.

Enable us, then, to try to change your thoughts with 5 causes to observe England’s last recreation at Russia 2018…

The race for the Golden Boot

He will not be lifting the World Cup itself however England captain Kane might nonetheless declare a comfort prize within the form of the event’s Golden Boot, awarded to the main scorer.

The Tottenham striker at the moment leads the best way with six targets to his identify from his six video games within the competitors, placing him two forward of his nearest rival, Belgium’s Romelu Lukaku. Saturday’s recreation might settle the race.

French duo Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe (each on three targets for the event) must do one thing exceptional in Sunday’s last to disclaim Kane – though from what we have seen of the pair, you can not rule it out.

Go one higher than 1990

The story of the 1990 World Cup

Behind successful it in 1966, England’s second-best end at a World Cup is fourth in 1990, coming because of shedding 2-1 to hosts Italy within the third/fourth-place recreation in Bari.

Saturday provides Southgate’s aspect the chance to surpass that achievement and finish what has been a progressive event on a notable excessive.

It additionally represents a history-making alternative for Belgium, whose earlier finest is fourth, on the 1986 World Cup in Mexico.

Because the England boss has acknowledged, in reaching the final 4 they’ve already surpassed expectation, so now’s about constructing additional on the optimistic ethos and ambition he hopes to hold into the 2020 European Championships and past.

Revenge on Belgium

World Cup 2018: England 0-1 Belgium highlights

A lot has occurred since, however it was solely two weeks in the past that England and Belgium met within the Group Stage in Kaliningrad.

With each groups having already certified to the knock-out phases, the 2 sides featured 17 workforce modifications from their earlier recreation, with Adnan Januzaj’s excellent strike for Belgium the one purpose.

Saturday’s match supplies England with an opportunity to achieve a modicum of revenge for that defeat and declare themselves a bronze medal in addition.

It could possibly be a extremely good recreation

Third/fourth-place play-offs have a tendency to offer targets. The final 10, relationship again to 1978, have averaged 4 per recreation.

Final 10 World Cup third-fourth place play-offs
Yr Outcome Yr Outcome
1978 Brazil 2-1 Italy 1998 Netherlands 1-2 Croatia
1982 Poland 3-2 France 2002 South Korea 2-Three Turkey
1986 Belgium 2-Four France (aet) 2006 Germany 3-1 Portugal
1990 Italy 2-1 England 2010 Uruguay 2-Three Germany
1994 Sweden 4-Zero Bulgaria 2014 Brazil 0-Three Netherlands

There are variety of potential causes for this.

Managers typically take the chance to rotate their squad, which may disrupt sides and make them weaker or present a platform for second-string gamers to take their one likelihood to shine at a World Cup. Though, each Southgate and Roberto Martinez have indicated their dedication to win Saturday’s recreation, suggesting sturdy beginning XIs.

Third-fourth place video games additionally comes with out the aggressive strain of the video games which have gone earlier than. Basically, the 2 groups are out so the sport is one thing of a free-hit.

Even when the likes of Raheem Sterling, Dele Alli, Kevin de Bruyne and Eden Hazard are omitted, the sport nonetheless has the potential to entertain.

The subsequent World Cup is 4 years away

England followers have re-engaged with their nationwide workforce this World Cup

As soon as the frustration of Wednesday fades, England and their followers will have the ability to replicate again on what has been an excellent event, each for themselves and normally.

With solely two video games left of Russia 2018 and the subsequent finals in Qatar 4 years away, you want to get your repair of World Cup soccer this weekend.

England return to motion in September with a recreation towards Spain at Wembley – their first within the inaugural Uefa Nations League.

One other Nations League fixture it’s your decision on your calendar: Friday, 12 October 2018 – Croatia v England.

BBC Sport – Football
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