Striker set to sit out England v Belgium clash

Eden Hazard trained but Romelu Lukaku sat out the session

England´s forward Harry Kane celebrates with England´s midfielder Jordan Henderson (R) after scoring a penalty during the Russian Federation 2018 World Cup Group G football match between England and Panama at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium in Nizhny Novgorod on June 24, 2018.

Kevin De Bruyne, Vincent Kompany, Marouane Fellaini and their Belgium team-mates all set out on an enjoyable stroll in the sun but their trip was cut very short.

However, the focus will be on England vs Belgium.

A point against Belgium is enough for England to top Group G.

So you can almost take it as guaranteed that England will finish second but then lose in the last 16.

"Anyone who gets the chance to play will do the best they can to make the manager make a hard decision, I'm sure he's made a lot of hard decisions so far", he said.

Germany failed to make it past the World Cup group stage.




Now, we seem to be faced with a similar dilemma with teams that play later can engineer their performance to chart their course.

The majority of those who take the field in Thursday's crunch encounter play in the English Premier League and it is for this reason that RT's special guest analyst Jose Mourinho is curious to see who comes out on top when club-mates meet each other in the worldwide arena.

And Southgate said recent World Cup results have refocused England minds.

"But we have a hunger to keep improving and we're playing with a lot of confidence".

"We've not won a knockout game since 2006", he said.

The England boss called the game "an opportunity for players that need a match because they have not played a while". We want to perform well but the priority is not to win. I go back to the fact we're trying to develop a winning mentality and I can't imagine a situation where I talk to the players about anything else. If you do not play to win, you are cheating your opponents, deceiving those who are watching, and also fooling yourself. Martinez will doubtless keep faith with his beloved 3-4-2-1 formation as he introduces at least six new faces, with Thomas Vermaelen expected to return and Michy Batshuayi taking over from Romelu Lukaku up front. I don't think it would be professional of us to put those players at a risk of missing the knockout phase.

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