England fans look to Belgium game after cheering Germany exit

England fans look to Belgium game after cheering Germany exit

The Three Lions now hold a slight advantage in Group G over their opponents, owing to a better disciplinary record, though many had talked of England looking to lose to Belgium in order to finish second and have a more favourable path to the final on paper.

"We´ve not won a knockout game since 2006".

But the path to the quarter-final could see a match against Germany or Brazil for the victor - a question which will be determined before England and Belgium clash in Kaliningrad.

"Why we are starting to plot which would be a better venue for our semi-final is beyond me, really".

England have made a good start to the tournament after beating Tunisia in their first match and then hammering Panama, with captain Harry Kane scoring goals for fun.

Belgium's Manager Roberto Martinez is expected to make at least 6 changes to his lineup with Romelu Lukaku (ruled out with an injury), Dries Mertens (ankle problem), Eden Hazard (nursing a calf problem) along with Thomas Meunier, Kevin De Bruyne and Jan Vertonghen all of whom are a booking away from suspension.

"What I've discussed with the players is we must not waste any energy thinking whether it's better to be first or second in the group, who we might play in future rounds", said Southgate.


Asked if he felt fortunate to be in this position, Southgate said: "Yes, hugely".

"If we can win great, but I think the priority is another one than just winning tomorrow".

"When you make changes and players come in they have a high level of motivation, they know it's a brilliant opportunity to play at the World Cup and they want to show what they can do", he said. That is the reality, we have put ourselves in this situation, we wanted to qualify and we have done that. Indeed Gareth Southgate will have seen enough from the way Senegal played against the Colombians to appreciate they are by no means unbeatable.

Japan coach Akira Nishino has warned his players against complacency when they meet the already eliminated Poles.

But Southgate refused to entertain such a thought.

He said: "We've got loads of friends who were umming and ahhing whether to come".

Aliou Cisse´s Senegal will attempt to succeed where the rest of their continental rivals failed, with Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria and Tunisia all out. The last-16 ties start Saturday, with France taking on Argentina in Kazan and Uruguay facing Cristiano Ronaldo´s Portugal in Sochi.

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