England and Belgium will be dragging themselves to the pitch this Saturday, as they play for a consolation match that will also serve as the final appetizer for the World Cup’s main course that is the title game between Croatia and France the following day. While the teams fighting for third may not be enthused, bettors are certainly intrigued by the matchup, which a flurry of activity at the sportsbook as Belgium currently holds a commanding favorite status. Will England pull up their bootstraps and surprise?
Betting Preview for the Belgium vs England FIFA World Cup Third Place Playoff on July 14, 2018
Where: Saint Petersburg Stadium, Saint Petersburg, Russia
When: Saturday, July 14, 10:00 AM ET
TV Broadcast: FOX Sports 1
Betting on Belgium (+123 to win)
After defeating Brazil in the quarterfinals, 2-1, The Red Devils carried that air of confidence in them into the semifinals against France. That balloon of self-assurance, however, was pricked by Le Bleus, as Belgium were knocked out of title contention, thanks to a 1-0 loss. For a team that scored 14 goals in the tournament heading into the semis, it was close to inconceivable that Belgium would get shut out, but that happening also was a testament to how great France’s defense is. Belgium will not face that kind of impenetrable defense against England, though, so expect the likes of Romelu Lukaku, Eden Hazard, and Kevin De Bruyne to have bigger spaces to operate whenever they get on the attack. In the Group Stage meeting with England, Belgium controlled the ball 52 percent of the time and had more attempts on goal (15-3) and more shots that went on target (4-1). Some reserves might also have more playing time against England, given the diminished sense of importance of the contest.
Betting on England (+214 to win)
In the end, England’s 1-0 loss to Belgium in the Group Stage did not matter, as even though the Three Lions landed in a perceived weaker bracket in the knockout stages, they failed to capitalize on that, losing to Croatia in the semifinals, 2-1. England had a good start in that match, getting a 1-0 lead early, but they faded in the second half in which Croatia took over and flashed their dominance. Just like in the first match with Belgium, England may field a more unconventional and experimental lineup. Defender Kieran Trippier, who sustained a groin injury in the Croatia match might also kept out of this game. Some of them may not start, but expect any of Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Jesse Lingard, and Dele Alli to make a difference any time they’re on the pitch. Kane leads all scorers in Russia with six goals. England is 15-6 in the last 21 meetings with Belgium.
England avenges their previous loss to Belgium to finish third in the tournament, thanks to a 2-1 win this Saturday.
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