Conspiracy theories, illicit strategies and kidology abound as Group G comes to its conclusion. Either England or Belgium will top the pile….but who wants it? Rumours of wholesale team changes suggest both sides are happy to finish second – and potentially avoid a date with Colombia in the last 16. Can our England vs Belgium betting tips unravel the mystery?
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It’s probably just mind games from Roberto Martinez, the Belgium boss, who was quoted by the BBC this week as saying that changing every single one of his players for the England game ‘could be an option’.
Since then the Spaniard has also told a press conference “players with yellow cards, I don’t think it would be professional to put those players in.”
If he’s telling the truth, that means that Kevin de Bruyne, Jan Vertonghen and Thomas Meunier will all be rested. There are doubts over Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku and Dries Mertens too, who have picked up knocks, so Thursday’s Belgian side could look very different to normal.
There will be no such quarters given by Gareth Southgate, who has confirmed that he will be playing his strongest available eleven. So can the Three Lions pick up another trio of points? Here’s our England vs Belgium betting tips.
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England vs Belgium Betting Tips
If Belgium are making wholesale changes, then we can forget all the excellent work they’ve done before.
New partnerships will need to be formed, both in defence and attack, and that could lead to a staccato performance from an outfit missing several world class stars.
Former Arsenal man Thomas Vermaelen could come in at the back, with Youri Tielemans and Marouane Fellaini anchoring the midfield alongside Mousa Dembele.
How do you replace Eden Hazard? Probably not with Nacer Chadli or Adnan Januzaj, in an ideal world, but those are the options that Martinez has at his disposal.
Up front, Michy Batshuayi will be tasked with replacing four-goal Romelu Lukaku.
It’s advantage England then, make no mistake about it. They will set out to win this game, and Southgate will select as strong a side as possible with the aim of just tweaking his tactics ahead of the knockout phase.
The familiarity in England’s starting XI should yield dividends here: back them in the Draw No Bet market with William Hill at 17/20.
England vs Belgium Betting Tips: Side Markets
The attacking joie de vivre shown by England so far is likely to be curtailed by the Belgians, who will deploy a double defensive midfield screen in an attempt to shut down Lingard, Loftus-Cheek and co.
At the other end of the pitch, the Belgians will be missing their own impetus provided by De Bruyne, Hazard, Mertens and associates.
This will be a much closer match than the two sets of fans have experienced so far in this World Cup, and as such the Under 2.5 Goals line at 20/29 with NetBet looks to the sensible play.