It’s safe to say that both Belgium and England were hoping to be playing a day later. However, neither country can be upset about making it to this point considering their lack of deep World Cup runs in recent history. A third-place finish would be the best result ever for Belgium, and it would be the second-best finish for England.
Interestingly enough, these two teams have already met at the World Cup. Belgium and England were both put into Group G, and each team was able to qualify after the first two games. That put these two sides into an interesting position, as whichever team finished in second would have had an easier draw. Belgium’s Adnan Januzaj scored the game’s lone goal, and that gave the Red Devils the win, yet England had a much easier route to get to this point.
The most anticipated sporting event in the world comes around once every four years, so don’t miss any of the 2018 World Cup. This match will take place at St. Petersburg Stadium in St. Petersburg at 10 a.m. ET on Saturday, July 14, 2018. Catch every moment of the match live on FOX.
World Cup Third Place Match Betting Odds at BookMaker.eu
The Three Lions believed that this would be the year for England to bring the World Cup home. England was given an easier potential draw to the final with their loss to Belgium, and they made the most of it until their last match. They were able to get rid of their penalty kick demons against Colombia in the Round of 16, and they followed that up with a comfortable 2-0 win over Sweden in the Quarterfinals.
England was favored to knock off Croatia on Wednesday, and they were able to get off to a fantastic start. Kieran Trippier opened the scoring with a beautiful free kick in the 5th minute, and the English were able to provide constant pressure for the rest of the first half, but not a key second goal. In the second half, Croatia roared back and put the Three Lions on the back foot, with Ivan Perisic leveling midway through the frame. Penalties appeared to be in the offing, but a marking mistake at the back gave Mario Mandzukic a chance which he took full advantage of in extra time.
There were some sour grapes from the Belgians following their loss to France in Tuesday’s semifinal. Multiple players expressed their displeasure with the French for seemingly packing it in at the back, but a loss is a loss.
That doesn’t diminish what Belgium was able to accomplish at this World Cup. The Red Devils have been one of the most electrifying teams to watch and thrilled us with wins over Japan and Brazil. They would love to open it up once more and give us an entertaining third-place match.
The biggest question coming into this game is who will be on the field for both teams. Some managers and sides leave their stars on the field for this match, and they are able to bring some motivation into the affair as well. However, others begin to shift their priorities to club football, as those will be the teams paying their large salaries in a month’s time. It’s unlikely that any player that has been dealing with an unreported injury will suit up for this match.
Matchup to Watch
We may get an interesting war of the words before this game. Belgium goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has been quick to throw out barbs of criticism at this World Cup, and English fans are already miffed with him over his jab at Jordan Pickford. Courtois told the media that maybe Pickford would have been able to make a save in their earlier match if he were a little taller, and that comment upset a number of fans. Pickford may want to respond in kind prior to this match.
Free Soccer Betting Pick
Getting an extra day of rest and not having to play an additional 30 minutes of extra time will boost a Belgian side that was already the more talented team. Look for the Red Devils to get the win and finish with their best World Cup finish yet.
World Cup Third Place Odds: Belgium 2, England 1
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