Published: Sat, June 30, 2018
Sport | By Ruben Hill

Gary Neville makes bold England World Cup claim

Gary Neville makes bold England World Cup claim

Belgium fans cheer during the Russian Federation 2018 World Cup Group G football match between England and Belgium at the Kaliningrad Stadium in Kaliningrad on June 28, 2018.

Eden Hazard as impressed for the Red Devils at the tournament so far. However, both England and Belgium are expected to make wholesale changes. So that has come into his thinking and Southgate, i understands, has been chopping and changing with potential line-ups in training this week, since the thumping win against Panama on Sunday.

"It was a good test for us and of course we had double objectives tonight with half an eye on the knockout". Kane leads the charts at the moment with five goals, one ahead of Romelu Lukaku, who also didn't play Belgium on Thursday, and Cristiano Ronaldo. "He had no further damage but it is still uncomfortable", Martinez told his pre-match news conference on the eve of the game.

Their final game presented the usual conundrum for teams already through with a game to spare: Do you try to keep the momentum going with your starters, or cycle in reserves to fight for a place and give the regulars a rest?

"At the moment he is still in the recovery phase and had a really hard knock against Tunisia. I think the supporters know what the most important thing is", he added.

Southgate made eight changes, whilst only Jordan Pickford, John Stones and Ruben Loftus Cheek were kept in the team.

Januzaj netted his first worldwide goal when he jinked his way inside the England box before curling a glorious shot beyond the fingertips of goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.

"Maybe I have put more pressure on myself, maybe I haven't".

"We are not looking at paths", Martinez said.

"We want to win football matches and we also know the big game is the knockout tie to come, so it was hard to balance all of those". You want to have players available for the future, so you have to avoid yellow cards.

"The knockout game is the biggest game for a decade, so we had to make sure our key players were preserved", said Southgate, having left out captain Harry Kane among others.

"I believe in every player in this squad so it would be quite stupid for me not to believe in these players tomorrow".

His second-choice lineup delivered the result most English fans hoped it would; The result, perhaps, England's bench thought it would, or at least weren't concerned it might.

While Matinez's idea about resting players certainly makes sense, there is risk in halting the momentum of a player like Lukaku, who has been in irresistible goal-scoring form in Russian Federation.

And people are nearly making out that England did this on objective, one fan said: "England losing is possibly the smartest thing they could've done.avoid Brazil, Argentina, Uraguay, Portugal, France and Belgium".

"Italia '90 brought a lot of pain to the Belgian people and Belgian fans", he said. This is a different game - a celebration game.

Rashford will be one of the players most disappointed.

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