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World Cup Free Pick: Belgium vs England

Scott Morris | June 27, 2018

On Thursday, the top two teams in Group G in the 2018 World Cup will play one another to determine the winner of the group. Belgium and England are dead even as they arrive at the final match for both in the group stage.

The current line for odds makers has England favored at 8 to 5, Belgium 9 to 5 and a draw 11 to 5.

The English have played brilliantly through their first two matches with their most recent a 6-1 rout of Panama. With a victory against Belgium, the Three Lions would gain even more confidence heading into the knockout stage of the tournament.

England is unbeaten in its last 11 matches against Belgium winning seven while drawing four. A win would give them three wins in their three group stage matches for the first time since 1982 in Spain.

The offensive attack of England has been nothing short of extraordinary scoring eight goals in two matches. The English will put a great deal of pressure on the Belgium back line the entire match.

Harry Kane, the team captain, has five goals in two matches and has at least one goal in five straight appearances for the Three Lions.

Most football pundits favored Belgium to win the group stage before the start of the tournament due to the strong front line they possess. Belgium opened with a 3-0 victory over Panama and followed that with a 5-2 win against Tunisia.

Roberto Martinez has a talented squad under his leadership with depth on both offense and defense. However, Belgium enters this match with a worry or two over injuries.

The best squad on the pitch for Belgium includes up front attackers Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku and Dries Mertens. Hazard should be fit for the match after he completed training Tuesday, although Lukaku did not after injuring a leg against Tunisia.

Thus far Lukaku has played tremendously well for the club with four goals in two matches with only four shots on goal. Under current manager Martinez, Lukaku has 23 goals in just 20 matches for the national team.

There have been rumors that Kevin De Bruyne, Thomas Meunier and Jan Vertonghen will sit out as one more yellow card during the group stage for any of the three would lead to a one-match suspension during the upcoming round of 16.

Prediction: The match should be close with both squads wanting to win the group and be assigned an easier draw in the next round. If Belgium sits players for injury or to protect them from bookings England should win, otherwise I will take my chances on Belgium in a slight upset 3-2.

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