Belgium v England 3rd place Play-off betting, tips, & match preview
Red Devils look better placed to win the game nobody wants
Belgium v England – and so, for the second time in this tournament, Belgium and England will meet in a game that doesn’t really matter.
It’s a curious one. To play the same opponent twice at a World Cup is rare enough; to do so in two virtual friendlies is surely unprecedented.
This must be the toughest World Cup game of all for the players, and it’s certainly not one to be getting heavily involved with on the punting side – at least until the team news is in.
There is a chance here that one team might take it more seriously than the other. Belgium’s first team has the edge on England’s, and we’ve already seen that the same is true in a clash of reserve teams. But England’s first team would expect to beat Belgium’s second.
The suspicion here is that we’ll see changes from both sides, but not on the scale of the group game where both teams changed almost their entire outfield team.
England have players that have clearly been playing through injuries. Neither Harry Kane nor Dele Alli looked fully fit against Croatia, while Kieran Trippier was unable to complete a match that England ended with 10 men.
Belgium, who have had a day longer to recover and have not been to extra-time at all during the tournament, don’t appear to have any such problems.
Trying to second-guess the team news is risky, but you’d have to think Belgium will make fewer changes here and are in any case the stronger team. The 6/5 for a Belgium win in 90 minutes looks generous, and it would be no surprise to see the Red Devils run out comfortable winners if they give this match anything like their full attention.
Belgium at 11/4 giving up a goal headstart might also look far too big come Saturday night, while any lack of full concentration could make a Belgium win with both teams to score at 13/5 look big.
· Belgium to win in 90 minutes at 6/5
· Belgium (-1) to win in 90 minutes at 11/4