England v Belgium. What will the score be?

Romelu Lukaku sits out Belgium training ahead of World Cup clash with England

The Manchester United star looks set to miss Thursday’s game

Fortunately England manager Gareth Southgate is not getting carried away by the hype.

He added he was concerned about the prowess of England captain Kane, who is the tournament's top scorer with five goals so far.

The Croatian believes England should try their best to win against Belgium in order to build confidence for the rest of the tournament. Meanwhile, the second team will go to 2G, a side that only has one of the top nine teams in the world (No. 6 Switzerland) and three teams ranked 20th or lower, including No. 70 Russian Federation.

"Tomorrow we want to perform well but I think the priority is not to win", he said.

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"We want to keep winning football matches and we want to breed a mentality where everybody in our squad wants to constantly win". It just shows anyone is vulnerable on any given day.

Germany failed to make it past the World Cup group stage. I'm surprised. It's unusual to see Germany struggle as much as they have, but the level of all the teams is strong. The margins are so fine within the matches.

In the other remaining first-round games on Thursday, Japan, Senegal and Colombia are all chasing the two qualification spots in Group H, with Poland out of the picture.

Belgium will present England's biggest test yet at Russian Federation 2018.

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"That's what is brilliant about tournaments. The thrill to be a part of it is fantastic".

England enter their final World Cup group game tonight facing an unusual scenario where a defeat might actually benefit them in the long run. "Why we would be starting to plot which would be a better venue for our semi-final is beyond me really".

"We're going to face tougher challenges in the next few games and at the moment we can't consider ourselves a top team until we start to beat one of those teams", said Southgate. We expect several changes to personnel, given the strength and depth in the England squad, and Southgate's desire to ensure that those he may need to call on in the knockout phase have had match minutes.

The debate over whether England should rest players and settle for group runners up or to send a full-strength side out to win and keep the momentum building has been raging on as we approach kick off.

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England now sits ahead of Belgium in the standings, but that could change even if the teams draw, as England is in first due to the "fair play" tiebreaker, which scores teams based on yellow and red cards when goal differential and goals scored aren't enough to determine a victor.

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