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FIFA World Cup 2018: Belgium vs England – Battle of Golden Generations

England's Harry Kane
Harry Kane has been the centerpiece of England's so-called "Golden Generation." Photo by Кирилл Венедиктов (Wikimedia Commons) [CC License]
  • Will Harry Kane hold on to win the Golden Boot?
  • Can Belgium’s golden generation bring home third place
  • Third Place Play-off is scheduled for Saturday July 14, 2018 at 10:00 AM EST from Zenit Arena in St. Petersburg

Belgium will play England in the third place match Saturday, July 14 at 10am EST, after both teams came one goal short of reaching the finals. This is a rematch of the last Group Phase match, where losing was actually seen as the better option. Expect a different lineup and attitude heading into this game.

England is currently ranked 12th in FIFA World rankings and will be aiming to move up nine spots upon the conclusion of the tournament. Belgium is currently ranked 3rd in FIFA World rankings and will attempt to stay put as they start their preparations for Euro 2020.

Belgium

Belgium must be incredibly disappointed with their result against France. With powerhouses Brazil, Germany, Argentina, and Portugal out of the tournament, the World Cup was up for grabs.

Heading into the match Kevin DeBruyne, Eden Hazard, Romelo Lukaku, and company were leading the tournament in goals and looked dangerous from anywhere on the pitch. However, at the most important time, Belgium couldn’t find the back of the net, and France handed them their first shutout of the tournament.

This golden generation has left much on the table: they lost in the quarter-finals at the Euros to Wales two years ago, and lost to Argentina 1-0 in the quarter-finals at the previous World Cup.

Belgium will need to win this game, as proof to themselves and the world that they can win meaningful games. Look for keeper Thibault Courtois to continue his stellar play, accompanied by DeBruyne, Lukaku, and Hazard leading the attack. All of these players are in their mid 20s and figure to be important players in future tournaments for Belgium. So building some confidence here is vital.

England

One of the surprises of the 2018 World Cup is the English team. Entering the tournament with new coach Gareth Southgate, and having the youngest team and least internationally capped, few thought they could advance beyond the quarter-finals.

The English have received phenomenal play from the probable Golden boot winner, Harry Kane. But the electric Raheem Sterling, giant Harry Maguire, and brick wall Jordan Pickford, have all played an entertaining fearless brand of soccer, too.

The young squad isn’t taking the third place match lightly. Defender Kyle Walker has said “it’s still something massively to play for, to be the third-best team in the world, who would have thought it, at the start of the tournament when everyone was writing us off?”

Expect England to be hungry and driving the match. Harry Kane will be chasing the Golden Boot, and the team will be looking to match the success of their younger fellow countrymen this year. Both England’s under 17 and 20 teams won Gold at their respective World Cups. This game is a potential look at the resurgence of a English soccer.

World Cup Stats

Belgium
VS
England

4-0-1 Record 4-0-1
14 Goals Scored 12
6 Goals Allowed 6
8 Goal Differential 6
94/36 Total Shots/Shots on Target 81/20
54% Possession % 52%
35 Corners 34

Belgium vs England Opening Odds via Bovada

MONEYLINE Spread Total
Belgium +125 -1/2(+130) 3(-115)o
England +210 +1/2(-155) 3(-105)u
Draw +265

Belgium vs England Prop Bets via Bovada

 

Prop Bets England Belgium
Team to Kickoff -110 -110
Method of Victory – Regulation +225 +115
Method of Victory – Extra time +1000 +900
Method of Victory – Shootout +1400 +1200
Kane or Lukaku Score First +115 +115
Kane or Lukaku Score in Both Halves +900 +1200
Clean Sheet Yes/No +400/-550 +275/-350
First Team to Score +120 -140
Pentaly in Match Yes/No +450/-650 +350/-450
Own Goal Yes/No +1000/-2500 +1000/-2500

Betting Advice and Outcome

Pick: England +210

This game has the making to be very exciting, as both teams play with offensive mindsets. This game comes down to the strikers, where I see Kane being more lethal then Lukaku. Kane scores the game winning goal and wins the golden boot.

England 2 – Belgium 1

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From hockey to football, to basketball, baseball, soccer, and rugby, Cory is on top of it all. He grew up playing sports, has worked around them ever since (including as a talent scout), and is one of SBD's most experienced bettors.