The penultimate match of the tournament will see the two unsuccessful semi-finalists Belgium and England battle for third place at Saint Petersburg Stadium.
What’s their current form?
Belgium went through their group matches undefeated, starting with a 3-0 win over Panama, before belting Tunisia 5-2 and then eclipsing England 1-0 in a dead rubber, as both sides had already advanced. Belgium waited until the final minute to put Japan away when Chadli slotted the match winner in the 94th minute to beat Japan 3-2. A Fernandinho own goal inside the first 15 minutes before De Bruyne bagged a goal after half an hour was enough to give Belgium a 2-1 victory over one of the pre-tournament favourites, Brazil. Belgium then went down in a gallant performance against France 1-0 in the semi.
England cruised into the Round of 16 after just 2 of their 3 games. They opened with a last gasp 2-1 victory over Tunisia, before blitzing Panama 6-1. They then lost 1-0 to Belgium. England lead 1-0 until the 93rd minute when Mina scored, forcing the game to a shoot-out, where England won through 4-3. England then accounted for Sweden 2-0 in the Quarters. England scored in just the fifth minute of their semi against Croatia, but after their opponents equalised an hour later, neither side could get in front, until late in extra time, when Mandzukic scored a 109th minute goal to send Croatia to the final.
Belgium: Courtois; Alderweireld, Boyata, Vertonghen; Meunier, de Bruyne, Witsel, Carrasco; Mertens, Lukaku, Hazard.
England: Pickford; Walker, Stones, Maguire; Henderson; Trippier, Lingard, Alli, Rose; Kane, Sterling.
Any interesting facts I should know?
This is the second time these sides will have met in this tournament alone. The first was in the Group stage where they played out a dead rubber, as both sides had already advanced.
What should I be betting on?
Belgium to score a narrow victory.
Football is not coming home, nor is Belgium’s ‘golden generation’ going to break it’s major tournament drought. That being said, this is one last chance to put on a show on the world stage. Traditionally, the 3rd place playoff has been one of the most entertaining games of the World Cup. Both sides have nothing to lose and it is the reason why teams look to attack and entertain. Over 2.5 goals is 10-0 dating back to 1978 with 4 or more goals in 6 of the last 10 playoff matches. The Wolf says not to pay any attention to Belgium’s 1-0 win in the group stage. Both sides rested players and England succeeded in their attempt to lose the game. This fixture will be significantly different. All the stars will be on show and will have something to prove. Lukaku will try to run down Kane for the Golden Boot while Hazard and De Bruyne will run riot in midfield. England were outplayed by the Croatian midfield and Belgium will do exactly the same. Over 2.5 goals is THE BET OF THE TOURNAMENT and The Wolf is rolling out all 5 chips!
TV channel, kick-off time, betting odds, tips, live stream and team news
What time is kick off? The game starts at 5pm (local time) on July 14. In Australia, kick-off will be at midnight on July 15th.
What TV Channel is it on and can I live stream it? In Australia, the only network with live broadcast rights is SBS. SBS Radio will also cover games that aren’t broadcast. Optus Sport in Australia will broadcast every game live as well via live streaming, however it will be available to subscribers only.
What’s the team news and who’s injured? Both sides come into this match injury free.
Who’s the referee? Not yet announced.
What happened the last time they played each other? There have been 22 games between these sides, with England dominating, scoring 15 wins and 4 draws, while Belgium has had just 3 wins. They last met in the Group stage of this World Cup, where Belgium won 1-0.