Big Game Focus: Belgium v England

The Big Game Focus takes a look at the largest game of the day, giving you possible team line-ups, form and betting advice.

Belgium and England will have to overcome the disappointment of missing a spot in the World Cup final to fight for third place when they meet in their play-off match this evening.

The Belgians lost 1-0 to France in their semi-final, whilst the Three Lions lost in extra-time to Croatia.

Neither side will be overly thrilled to play in a third place play-off, but this game gives the Red Devils a chance to record their highest ever World Cup finish, and England their highest since they won it way back in 1966.

Here is our guide to the game.

Betting tips

Dries Mertens kicked off Belgium’s successful run in Russia with the first goal in their opening match against Panama. He lost his place in the starting line-up as the tournament wore on but could be recalled against England. His impressive record of 22 goals for Napoli last season stands him in good stead. He is valued as Anytime Goalscorer at a massive odds of 3.20 here.

Belgium have scored more goals (14) than any other team at this year’s finals. England and Croatia are tied in second place with 12 goals each. Bouncing back from their crushing defeat in the semi-finals will be critical for both sides and we should expect an attacking approach from them. Bet on Both Teams to Score at 1.50 here.

England have already lost to Belgium at the World Cup, when they met in the last match of Group G. The Red Devils’ domination in that match proved they have more quality in depth than their English rivals. A win for Belgium is rated at odds of 2.15 here.

Team news

There will be no yellow-card suspension worries in the two remaining World Cup matches as amnesty follows after the quarter-final stage. Belgium have no obvious injuries to contend with but Martinez might opt not to risk some of the stars who have had niggles in Russia.

Kieran Trippier is expected to miss the match with the injury he sustained against Croatia. Both sides are likely to ring the changes and give a chance to some of the less-utilised players.

Likely line-ups

Belgium: Mignolet; Vermaelen, Alderweireld, Boyata; Meunier, Tielemans, Dendoncker, Chadli; Mertens, Batshuayi, Januzaj

England: Butland; Jones, Stones, Cahill; Alexander-Arnold, Loftus-Cheek, Dier, Delph, Rose; Rashford, Vardy