Monday, 20 August, 2018

Southgate urges England to play Belgium without fear

There are big expectations of Belgium's Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne There are big expectations of Belgium's Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne
Edward Snyder | 28 June, 2018, 11:26

Depending on the outcome of other games, it may not be an advantage to finish top of the group, but both sides insist they won't take such calculations into account.

Neither team will ever publicly state the desire to lose or intentionally commit fouls to get more yellow cards, but both countries will not be unhappy if they can avoid the top place in pool G.

"We've not won a knockout game since 2006; why we're trying to plot what would be a better route for our semi-final is beyond me".

"We need to keep winning football matches and we want to breed a mentality that everybody in our squad wants to constantly win", he told reporters. Jamie Vardy's going to start this one, and England are going to win by two goals to nil. "The reality is we put ourselves in this situation we wanted to qualify and we have done that".

If England and Belgium draw the match, the group winners will be decided by their fair play record - with the Three Lions now on one fewer yellow card.

Dier has played six minutes for England at the World Cup in Russian Federation, but coach Gareth Southgate confirmed the Tottenham Hotspur midfielder will start against Belgium, with both teams having booked their places in the last 16. We want to perform well but the priority is not to win.

"It could not just physically drain them but mentally it could fatigue them and that could be very risky going forward into the knockout stages".




"We want to win the game", said Southgate.

"But I think it's the same like Belgium they have a great attack and then the defence there might be some weakness". "That would mean we top the group and we would go into whatever game we go into moving forward".

It remains to be seen if Southgate will make a number of changes to his side for the game against Belgium in Kaliningrad or if he will stick to the strongest XI possible.

"If I go and headbutt Roberto in the last five minutes then you'll know that we're maybe taking a different approach to getting through", he chuckled.

Russian Federation 2018 will be his fifth World Cup.

"I think it will be an interesting game, a 50-50 game, and both teams are qualified so it will be a unusual game", said Fellaini, who plays in England for Manchester United, having made his name for another Premier League club Everton.

They can not be separated through traditional calculations, so the FIFA Fair Play standings based on cautions come into play.

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