Thursday, September 20, 2018

Prediction: England vs Belgium

Harry Kettle in Free Soccer Predictions, World Cup 27 Jun 2018

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Prediction: Belgium win

Best Odds: 19/10

Bookmaker: bet365

We’ve finally arrived at the final set of group fixtures for Group G, and things have gone about as well as they possibly could’ve for both England and Belgium. The two European powerhouses are on six points apiece, and now, who wins the group will be determined by this game and this game only. Both nations have a great deal of momentum behind them, and they have two sets of players who know each other extremely well – which could either lead to a stalemate, or one of the best games of the tournament so far.

England

The expectations surrounding the England national team heading into Russia were quite low, and as a result, most people have been pretty surprised by what they’ve seen. They seem to be playing with a level of confidence that has been absent for so many years now, and Gareth Southgate has them playing in a system that suits their style of play perfectly. They’ll have to decide how much of a priority winning the group is, because this gives them a chance to rest some of their bigger players before the Round of 16.

Team News

Dele Alli is the biggest question mark heading into this one, as Southgate must decide whether or not to risk him – especially after England put in such a dominant display against Panama without him. Outside of that, we can expect at least a few changes. Loftus-Cheek and Walker will be suspended if they pick up one more yellow card.

Belgium

Belgium’s golden generation failed to do what was expected of them at the 2014 World Cup and Euro 2016, but now, it seems as if they’re well on their way to reaching the latter stages of an international tournament. That could easily happen at this World Cup as they appear to be in fine form, with their many attacking options all hitting their top form at just the right time. They’ve always had the name value in their squad to make some serious waves, but this time around they’re finally producing the goods on the pitch.

Team News

Lukaku and Hazard have both sustained niggles according to Roberto Martinez so they could be rested, with Meunier, Vertonghen and De Bruyne all one yellow card away from a suspension.

Factors to Consider

  • England leads 15-2 in the head to head, with their last meeting coming back in 2012.
  • Both Belgium and England and on four-game winning streaks with five wins in their last six.
  • The majority of Belgium’s squad either play or have played in the English Premier League.
  • England won their first two World Cup games 2-1 and 6-1.
  • Belgium won their first two World Cup games 3-0 and 5-2.

Conclusion

You have to ask yourself whether or not either team are particularly interested in winning the group for any reason other than personal pride. When you look at the potential opponents for both in the Round of 16, finishing second wouldn’t be all that disastrous. In terms of the game, we feel like it’ll go the same way as France/Denmark in terms of entertainment value for the first 45 minutes, only for things to spring into life in the second half. We’ll go for a narrow 2-1 Belgium win, with the final goal coming in the dying minutes.

Prediction: Belgium win

Best Odds: 19/10

Bookmaker: bet365

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Harry Kettle


Harry is a University of Worcester graduate who has been writing professionally for the last two years. He specialises in several sports such as MMA, pro wrestling and athletics, with football being his primary love. He continues to dream of a life in the Premier League as a Wolves fan.

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