Sunday, 23 September, 2018

Belgium's Romelu Lukaku to recover from injury in time to face England

Romelu Lukaku GETTYRomelu Lukaku is likely to miss Belgium's game with England on Thursday
Jennie Wade | 28 June, 2018, 17:09

Tottenham Hotspur defender Jan Vertonghen is eager to take on his Spurs team-mates when Belgium face England in the Group G top spot decider on Thursday.

They now face Belgium, who have also made it through, on Thursday night and all that needs to be decided is the final placings.

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

While both teams have already qualified for the knockout stages at Russian Federation 2018, they are playing to determine who they meet in the round of 16.

"We have to go out to play well in every game and to try and win every game".

Belgium's Romelu Lukaku could miss his team's final Group G clash with England after coach Roberto Martinez said on Wednesday that the match in Kaliningrad was "probably one day too early" for the striker. Premier League stars vs, er, Premier League stars.

Belgium manager Roberto Martinez on the other hand has vocally stated that 'winning isn't his priority. This match could well be a dud. "That would mean we top the group and we would go into whatever game we go into moving forward". Both sides have qualified for the last 16, and all that is to be resolved is who finishes top of group G. If either team wins this match, they win the group and enter the group stage with momentum.

"You are thinking quarter-final, semi-final and I think that someone, including England, is going to have a huge opportunity".

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Kane has enjoyed a sensational start to the World Cup in Russian Federation, as he has led the line and the team with distinction. The win against Ecuador was their only win in the knockout stages.

"But to be involved in a World Cup is something you work all your life for".

Speaking before the game, manager Southgate said he wanted to "breed a mentality that everybody in our squad wants to constantly win". The teams enter the game tied for first place, having won an equal number of points (six), scored the same amount of goals (eight) and conceded two apiece. "We just want to keep winning and winning".

"Tomorrow is a good opportunity for us to grow". If you do not play to win, you are cheating your opponents, deceiving those who are watching, and also fooling yourself.

They'll play the winners of group H - one of Japan, Senegal and Colombia - in Moscow on Tuesday, kick-off 7pm. The last thing they want is two teams avoiding a positive result.

Prior to yesterday's fixtures there had been no goalless draws until France and Denmark produced the first scoreless game of the tournament.

Sure, both teams will rest players.

This is the World Cup. But they must not be asked to play without 100% commitment.

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