Why England Might Want To Lose Their World Cup Game Against Belgium

Jun 28, 2018, 18:52
Why England Might Want To Lose Their World Cup Game Against Belgium

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.

England enter their final World Cup group game tonight facing an unusual scenario where a defeat might actually benefit them in the long run. Fans will have a day to catch their breath before the Round of 16 kicks off on 30 June, Saturday.

"For England to face Brazil in the last eight, it'll be tough". Although it was one of the standout fixtures in the group stages prior to the World Cup, the fact that both teams are already through to the knockout stages means the match could be a low-key affair devoid of any real drama. Do you rest players with at least one and potentially four games to come between now and 15 July?

Jordan Pickford keeps his place in goal and he is once again joined by Kyle Walker, John Stones and Harry Maguire, who make up England's familiar back three.

'How do you play a game not trying to win? Premier League stars vs, er, Premier League stars. Nope, it's not working.

They'll play the winners of group H - one of Japan, Senegal and Colombia - in Moscow on Tuesday, kick-off 7pm.

Semi-finals: Uruguay, Portugal, France or Argentina.

It is safe to say that, on paper, finishing second in Group G gives that team a better chance of advancing further in the tournament compared to topping the group.

There has even been some talk that England might have an easier route at the World Cup if they lose in Kaliningrad.

Chelsea legend and 106-time England worldwide Frank Lampard was not afraid to put his heart on his sleeve to go with the three lions on his shirt.

"This World Cup so far has been so unpredictable", he argued.

Add to that England and Belgium's awful records in the knockout stages. Or shall they go all out and build confidence for the rest of the tournament?

Besides, losing to avoid the heavyweights is a defeatist attitude that will only see doubt linger in the back of this young squad's minds.

"The majority of Belgian players, they play in England".

Southgate has confirmed Eric Dier will start against Belgium, although the Tottenham man was only selected in 56% of your teams.

The right hand side of the draw is where teams want to be at the moment.

"We want to perform well but I think the priority is not to win", he said. "We just want to keep winning and winning".

"With Romelu Lukaku we had very good news on the scan". They play in the same teams as the English players.

"Either way you're going to have to play them so, if we play them early, that's how it's going to be."

"They won't play", he exclusively told Starsport.

At this World Cup though, conventional wisdom has been turned on its head.

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