FIFA World Cup: Belgium and England Clash For Third Place

belgium vs england world cup semifinal 2018After failing to reach the 2018 FIFA World Cup final in Russia, Belgium and England are set to square off on Saturday at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow for third place, which grants some extra cash, and a bronze medal consolation prize.

Belgium is the favorite here at +120 and England comes in as the +220 underdog. The draw (at the end of 90 minutes) is +265 and the over three-goal total is at +105, with the under coming back at -125.

The spread for Belgium is -o.5 goals at +120, while the +0.5 goals spread for England comes back at -145.

The English spent a hard-fought two hours trying to advance to their first world cup final since 1966, only to see their hopes dashed by a clinical finish in the 109th minute from Mario Mandzukic which led Croatia to a 2-1 victory and their first world cup final ever.

The English gave it all during their loss to Croatia and this was abundantly clear seeing workhorses Jordan Henderson, Ashley Young and Kieran Trippier all leave the pitch in extra time looking just gassed.

That paired with the fact that Gareth Southgate is a players’ manager it’s likely that he will decide to rotate his starting eleven to allow some of his guys on the bench to see some action in England’s last match.

The Belgians arrive to this third-place game with an extra day of rest and will see the return of Thomas Meunier from suspension so expect them to field a superior starting eleven. Belgium is looking to win this match to improve on their 1986 squad that finished in fourth place in Mexico.

This game features the top two scorers of this world cup as England’s Harry Kane (6) and Belgium’s Romelu Lukaku (4) go head-to-head. This is Lukaku’s last chance to try and catch Kane to steal the Golden Boot award from him.

History suggests this game will have plenty of goals so don’t be surprised if both players end up finding the back of the net and increasing their goal totals. The last 10 third-place games have seen at least three goals with six of them even going over that mark.

The scoring punch possessed by both these squads will be on full display as defensive duties take a back seat.

If Kane can score at least once he can become the first player since Brazil’s Ronaldo to finish with more than six goals in a single world cup. In 2002 he scored eight as he led Brazil to their fifth world title. The all-time record belongs to Frenchman Just Fontaine, who scored 13 goals in the 1958 tournament held in Sweden.

 

 

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