Harry Kane set to start for England in group decider against Belgium

Elena Summers
June 28, 2018

England and Belgium battle it out for top spot in their group on Thursday as the remaining teams at the World Cup digest Germany´s astonishing exit from the tournament in Russian Federation.

Both will be vying for top spot in Group G as they lock horns in Kaliningrad.

But on a day when holders Germany crashed out of the tournament with a shock 2-0 loss to South Korea, Southgate said his side were focused on Belgium alone.

"But to be involved in a World Cup is something you work all your life to get to".

Instead, Sweden and Mexico advanced to the last 16.

"They have a brilliant opportunity first and foremost to play in a World Cup, they want to show what they can do".

The teams have been among World Cup 2018's top scoring sides after Game 2, but their attacking prowess will fade under the pressure that accompanies this decisive game.

"We want to keep winning football matches and we want to breed a mentality where everybody in our squad wants to constantly win".

England has won just six knockout games at major tournaments since winning the World Cup in 1966 and only two at World Cups since 1990. "I don't think he will be training today and we will make a final assessment tonight".

Both England's Harry Kane and Belgium's Romelu Lukaku are both leading the goal tally at the moment, with five and four respectively.

Southgate hinted that he would make some changes to his starting 11 but did not go into specifics.

Unlike Southgate, the former Everton and Wigan manager said he was approaching Thursday´s game with one eye firmly on the knockout rounds.

"I have really enjoyed the tournament so far, but I have to say that no team has been special so far", stated O'Neill.

"That´s the reality. We wanted to qualify, we´ve done that". They will only ask themselves: "Are we not good enough to play the big guns yet?" .

The majority of those who take the field in Thursday's crunch encounter play in the English Premier League and it is for this reason that RT's special guest analyst Jose Mourinho is curious to see who comes out on top when club-mates meet each other in the worldwide arena. "From Belgium's point of view, if the rumours are true and they are resting ten players in this game, they are thinking they want to get into the other half of the draw and avoid Brazil, Uruguay, France, Argentina and Portugal".

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