England vs Belgium
England looked really well against Panama last Sunday afternoon as the side outplayed the opponent completely and celebrated 6:1 victory. It was one of their biggest in recent decades, as the side already had five goals lead at the halftime.
Quality difference was obvious from the very start. Stones scored twice, Lingard added one and Kane was precise from two penalty kicks for five goals lead. Kane added scored his third in 62nd minute, as the English side did lower the tempo a bit in the second part.
They allowed Panamians to develop a bit of their own game play, as it resulted in consolidation goal from Baloy in 78th minute. It was good to see them improving offensively after more difficult victory over Tunisia. The side has secured the last sixteen knockout phase and can play this one in a bit more relaxed way.
Rashford and Vardy could lead their attack in this one. Formation should be 3-5-2. Kyle Walker and Ruben Loftus-Cheek are both booking away from suspension so surely won't play here. Dele Alli is still a doubt with thigh problem. Coach Gareth Southgate is expected to make few chances for this one, resting his best players.
Belgium did what was needed and outplayed both of their first opponents with easy in the group stage. Their 3:0 victory over Panama came in the second halftime when they upped the tempo, while they showed even more quality in offense in the second round's game.
Tunisians were outplayed with a 5:2 result, in overall very open game that suited much more to the European side. Hazard and Lukaku brought them into the double lead already after fifteen minutes of play, while Bronn only temporarily reduced.
Lukaku scored his second during the added time of the first halftime, while Hazard and Batshuayi sealed the victory with their goals in second. Khazri only reduced in third minute of added time. Needs to be said, both sides have created even more chances during the ninety minutes - especially Belgium.
Batshuayi should lead the attack of Belgium. Offensive support comes from Thorgan Hazard and Tielemans in a version of 3-4-2-1 formation. Romelu Lukaku is almost certain not to play here due to his importance and injury problem.
Vincent Kompany and Thomas Vermaelen could make appearances here after being doubtful in previous matches. Eden Hazard could be spared as well. Kevin De Bruyne, Thomas Meunier and Jan Vertonghen are one booking away and unlikely to play here.
- Belgium have scored at least 3 goals in their last 4 matches (FIFA World Cup).
- There have been over 2.5 goals scored in Belgium's last 6 games (FIFA World Cup).
Both teams have secured the position in the knock-out phase and this game will decide who is going to the elimination phase from first position. Some calculations are possible, but I expect players of both teams to enter the game determined to win and show that they deserve starting lineup in next phase as well.
There's plenty of attacking potential in Belgium even with rotated squad, while England already showed they are very dangerous in every aspect of the game. Completely pure value bet this time.
England vs Belgium prediction
Over 2.75 goals @ 2.48 with Pinnacle