England in line to make eight changes for Belgium clash

Kate even hung a Harry Kane flag on the wall

Kate even hung a Harry Kane flag on the wall

One of the most tense Brussels summits in years coincides with a Belgium-England match that will decide which team goes top of their group at the tournament in Russian Federation.

It nearly seems to have been forgotten that before England should start thinking about the quarter-finals they will have a tie in either Moscow or Rostov against one of the teams from Group H. They will have a clearer idea by the time they kick off against Belgium but, as Southgate spoke, it could be one of Japan, Senegal or Colombia. Both teams have already secured their progression to the next round.

Whoever wins the group could possibly face defending champion Germany or Neymar and Brazil in the quarterfinals.

Unless Belgium, world football's current golden generation, finally hit the jackpot in Russian Federation by winning the World Cup with Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne, Romelu Lukaku and Vincent Kompany.

Six of England's eight goals in two games in Russian Federation so far have come from set pieces.

Both Belgium and England have already qualified for the last 16.

Romelu Lukaku and Kevin De Bruyne are potential absentees in Belgium's concluding World Cup Group G game against England in Kaliningrad.

England won 1-0 thanks to a David Platt's goal the second time the two sides met and that took place in the 1990 World Cup.

Lukaku has claimed the headlines after four goals in his first two World Cup matches but Belgium are far more nuanced than relying on the big centre-forward.

"The reason we're doing well is because we have an outstanding support team and an outstanding group of players in terms of their hunger and desire to improve and their willingness to try anything, to try different things, to embrace new ideas", Southgate said ahead of Thursday's game against Belgium.

At the 2016 European Championship, fans chanted "F*** off Europe, we're all voting out", updating it to: "F*** off Europe, we all voted out" after the referendum had taken place.

With that in mind, Martinez said he was unlikely to field any players who have a yellow card in case they picked up another and are disqualified from the round of 16.

If this World Cup has shown us anything, has it given us a glimpse of the new golden generation of England?

"Every game we want to win, I don't think as a professional you can go on a pitch without wanting to win", he said.

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