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thanhthuy02 created the topic: Unequal battle: Belgium v England
Unequal battle: Belgium v England[/b]
Goals are always on the menu in third-place play-off games and England can find an early one against Belgium on Saturday, says Dave Tindall… You can prefer the
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Belgium v England
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Belgium will feel hard done by[/b]
It wasn't lớn be for Belgium's Golden Generation in this World Cup although their semi-final against France could have gone either way.
Firing a blank in the last four was out of character for Belgium as they're this World Cup's leading scorers with 14 goals in six games but much of that was down to the strong French defence and the way N'Golo Kante and and Paul Pogba offered discipline in midfield.
The first goal - a headed corner - was crucial and France were able lớn protect it probably
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any other side in the tournament.
A third place play-off should be a much less intense affair and, if it's an open game, that's when Belgium thrive.
Much, of course, will depend on the side Roberto Martinez sends out. The big guns seeking to end on a high note or the reserve side which beat England 1-0 in the final group game.
Different agony for England[/b]
England will be devastated too having been 22 minutes away from playing in a World Cup final. But, in contrast lớn Belgium, it's more the frustration of being so close rather than thinking that they deserved lớn go through.
Croatia were the better team on the night in Moscow and, in truth, England were the fourth best side on show in the semi-finals despite a bright first half.
Not that they can't win here and claim a bronze medal of course.
England have had a memorable journey in this World Cup, winning a penalty shootout at last and acquiring a reputation as the set-piece kings.
There are some tired legs in the camp so it's a fair guess that, for the second time in this World Cup, Southgate will give his squad members a run-out against Belgium.
A mental battle[/b]
Belgium won the first meeting and are hai.26 to take victory again. England is 3.35 and The Draw 3.80.
I've always thought a key lớn betting on this game was assessing motivation levels and then opposing the team who least wanted to be there.
Take Brazil last time. They'd just been humiliated 7-1 in the semis against Germany. They probably all wanted lớn go into hiding. Third-place play-off: Brazil 0-3 Netherlands.
Back in 2002, co-hosts South Korea were devastated lớn miss out on the final after epic, if controversial, wins over Italy and Spain. A nation was distraught when they lost to Germany. Turkey, meanwhile, were delighted to have made the semis and felt no shame in losing in the last four to eventual winners Brazil.
Turkey seemed less unhappy lớn be there. Result: South Korea 2-3 Turkey
Another angle lớn take is which side played their semi-final first. The losers of the opening semi will have had longer to reflect, will be sick of rattling around their hotel and will generally have lost more momentum.
That possibly plays out, with four of the last five third-place games won by the team who played the second semi-final.