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England v Belgium World Cup Third Place Play-Off Preview and Predictions - Belgium to take bronze medal

Gary Emmerson 12 Jul 2018
  • Both sides suffered semi-final heartache
  • Belgium beat England 1-0 in their Group G fixture
  • That was England's only loss in their last 15 games prior to the semi-final
  • Belgium were unbeaten in 24 games before losing their semi-final

England and Belgium must get over the disappointment of semi-final defeats when they clash in the World Cup third place play-off at Krestovsky Stadium in Saint Petersburg on Saturday (Sunday AEST).

England v Belgium kicks off at 00.00am AEST on Sunday. The game will be broadcast on SBS in Australia. 

Prediction

Match Preview


England and Belgium meet for the second time at the 2018 World Cup as they fight it out for the bronze medal in the third place play-off in Saint Petersburg.

Both sides suffered semi-final heartache as Belgium went down 1-0 to France and England sacrificed a one-goal lead to lose 2-1 to Croatia in extra-time.

It is the job of Belgium coach Roberto Martinez and his England counterpart Gareth Southgate to get their sides back up for one more game as they clash in something more meaningful that the Group G contest earlier in the tournament.

With qualification assured and victory meaning a place in the predicted tougher half of the draw, both Belgium and England were much changed when they met two weeks ago. It was Belgium who won that game 1-0.

The route to the semi-final ultimately made little difference to either side as both made it to the last four, but they couldn't get over that last obstable.

Belgium should have a slight advantage in the third place play-off having had a day longer to recover from the semi-final, while England also played a further 30 minutes of extra time against Croatia.

We're likely to see some changes - although not as many as in the dead-rubber group stage game - and that muddies the waters a little when it comes to punting on the match. But I think this one goes the way of Belgium and I'm expecting goals with some tired bodies and minds on show.

Stats


  • Both sides suffered semi-final heartache
  • Belgium beat England 1-0 in their Group G fixture
  • That was England's only loss in their last 15 games prior to the semi-final
  • Belgium were unbeaten in 24 games before losing their semi-final

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England v Belgium World Cup Third Place Play-Off Preview and Predictions - Belgium to take bronze medal

England and Belgium must get over the disappointment of semi-final defeats when they clash in the World Cup third place play-off at Krestovsky Stadium in Saint Petersburg.

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