Germany exit shows anyone is vulnerable England manager Gareth Southgate

28 June, 2018, 15:57 | Author: Judy Cobb
  • Dries Martens

Eric Dier is also set to start for England against a Belgium side expected to be heavily changed.

Kieran Tripper has impressed with his performances on the right but Trent Alexander-Arnold has been preferred, while Ashley Young makes way for Tottenham's Danny Rose.

With Germany suffering a shock elimination and Brazil not yet guaranteed to qualify, some have suggested finishing second in the group would give England, who are in the aforementioned pair's half of the draw, an easier route to the final.

The left hand side of the draw is stacked with quality.

Belgium's attack once again shines and in this one a bit more than England's, to win the group.

"With Romelu Lukaku we had very good news on the scan. That would mean we top the group and we would go into whatever game we go into moving forward".

Well over 30 games into the World Cup in Russian Federation and goals have been a certainty in all the matches played so far.

"No, it's nothing that we have discussed", Dier said in the pre-match press conference. I go back to the fact we're trying to develop a winning mentality and I can't imagine a situation where I talk to the players about anything else.

"Best to focus on tomorrow.

But ourselves from the outside, we can look in and say "this team has a real chance".

What do you think the England v Belgium result will be and who do you think will score?

"Now we need to look into our individual players".

"Kane can hurt us", he said.

"We'll will make a final assessment tonight for him to be involved or not". I'm not interested in what Roberto Martinez wants to do and rest a few. The most important thing is always winning games, and if my goals help my team win then that's the flawless situation.

Kane and Ronaldo were the only players to have scored a hat-trick in the tournament at the time of going to print.

"From talking to young people or my own kids, I would be saying those things and I wasn't living it".

England face Belgium in Kaliningrad on Thursday with both teams having already secured a place in the round of 16, but Southgate admits that Germany's fate is a timely reminder of what can happen if anything is taken for granted. But of course as a player you don't really feel that until you're able to play.

"You don't realise, you can be buzzing, everybody can be happy and confidence is high but it is draining you".

Ahead of the tournament, there was little fanfare around England - a change from previous competitions where pundits at home believed that they should be genuine contenders.

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