Belgium vs England FIFA World Cup 2018 – Lineups, Predictions & Stats Preview 14 July 2018
Belgium and England meet again at the 2018 World Cup in the third and fourth place play-off, the one match neither teams wanted to be playing in. Both sides lost their semi-finals to narrow margins and will hope to finish the tournament back on winning ways.
Belgium Probable Lineups and Stats
Belgium were edged out in the semi-final 1-0 by France in a game where they enjoyed 60% possession. However, they only managed 9 attempts on goal in that game in a tournament where they have produced 94 shots in total and are the leading goalscorers with 14. Players may be rested for this match and others rewarded with a start.
Probable lineup: Courtois – Vermaelen, Alderwiereld, Boyata – Dembele, T. Hazard, Mertens, Fellaini – Batshuayi, Januzaj.
Belgium won all three of their group stage games before beating Japan and Brazil in the knock-out games. Their pass accuracy is often up around 90% and against France they made 565 completed passes in the game compared to their opponent’s 294. Romelu Lukaku is top scorer with four goals, making him the joint second top goalscorer at the World Cup.
Defensively they have conceded six goals in six games, picking up 10 yellow cards along the way. Goalkeeper Courtois is in contention for the Golden Glove award and has made 18 saves in the World Cup so far.
England Probable Lineups and Stats
England’s young squad have exceeded most peoples’ expectations in reaching the semi-final and will want to finish on a win. Having dominated the first half against Croatia their more experienced opponents gradually turned the match around. Manager Gareth Southgate may want to play a number of fringe players for experience.
Probable lineup: Pickford – Alexander-Arnold, Rose, Cahill, Stones, Jones – Dier, Loftus-Cheek, Lingard – Rashford, Kane.
England had 46% possession against Croatia, similar to their group game against Belgium, though pass accuracy dropped off to 79%. England average two goals a game and in Harry Kane have the tournament leading scorer on six goals. They have produced 81 shots in those matches of which 20 were on target, and have had three penalties awarded to them, all converted.
England have also conceded just six goals, with goalkeeper Jordan Pickford contending the Golden Gloves award too. Discipline has been impressive from such a young squad with just six yellow cards, an average of only one a game.
Belgium v England – Head to HeadThe two sides have met many times over the years including Belgium’s 1-0 win in the group stages of this World Cup when both sides made many changes. They drew 4-4 at the 1954 World Cup, but more famously a David Platt volley late into extra-time secured an England win in the last 16 of the 1990 World Cup. The same scoreline saw England beat Belgium in the last friendly between the sides in 2012 thanks to a Danny Welbeck goal.
Expert TipThis is an awkward game to call as both teams may potentially make significant changes to their teams. Going into the group stage clash Belgium may edge it, winning 2-1. This may be a repeat of England’s semi-final with England taking the lead only for Belgium to win the game. These games are often open as players relax from the pressures of the tournament and this may result in more corners, even as many as 9 each. It will be competitive to a degree and may see some yellow cards for both teams.
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