These are the teams that were so close to fulfilling a dream. Belgium and England both lost in close matches against the great rivals France and Croatia, respectively. Today, they will play for the bronze.
This is the second time these teams are meeting in the present World Cup. The first time it was all about calculating. Both teams played with 8-9 reserves, while trying to rest the key players and maybe not win the match. The reason behind this was the seemingly easier path for the second-placed team. However, Adnan Januzaj proved his worth and scored a stunner to win the game.
Then, Belgium had a much tougher path to the semifinals. They played against a surprisingly good Japan in the Round of 16 and Brazil in the quarterfinals. Both games could enter into the competition for the best match of the tournament.
England, on the other side, played against Colombia in the Round of 16 and Sweden in the quarterfinal. England won in the penalty shootout against Colombia and won 2-0 in a more convincing game against Sweden.
This time it will all be different. Even though, both teams are disappointed that they didn’t reach the final, they are all professionals and will definitely give their absolute best. It is very likely that the coaches might rotate again, but it is not expected that there would be as much rotations as in the first round.
This should look like a real Premier League game because almost all of both teams’ players play in the English League. Out of Belgium’s starting 11 in the semifinal against France, only Axel Witsel was not a Premier League player. On the other side, every single English player plays in the top division in England.
This match should be a real spectacle with lots of goals. Tottenham and Manchester United stars, Harry Kane and Romelu Lukaku will look to add another goal to their respective tallies (Kane has 6, Lukaku has 4).
Courtois; Alderweireld, Vermaelen, Boyata; Meunier, Fellaini, Witsel, De Bruyne; Mertens, Lukaku, Carrasco.
Butland; Jones, Cahill, Maguire; Alexander-Arnold, Dier, Delph, Rose; Loftus-Cheek, Lingard; Kane.
This game is considered by many as an unnecessary game because the teams are not as motivated to play anymore once they are out of the race for the first place. However, reaching the third place is also an honor and whoever plays will certainly give his best to leave his mark in the history of the World Cups. One thing is certain in my opinion: there should be lots of goals!
Belgium 3-2 England