We're here to win, not plot final route, says England's Southgate

Ruben Holloway
June 28, 2018

Captain Harry Kane is the top goalscorer at the World Cup with five goals so far and the Tottenham talisman is likely to start against Belgium.

The only issue at stake for England against Belgium is whether they finish first or second in Group G. Finishing as runners-up arguably opens up a clearer path to the final - missing France/Argentina and Portugal - but with England now ahead of the Belgians on goal difference, Southgate insists his players will simply go out and try to win the game.

"We are delighted to be in the next round, [the Belgium] game is the one we are focused on and we want to win the group".

The group stage draws to a close on Thursday with one of its most eagerly anticipated games, the calendar serving up a delicious showdown between England and Belgium. "And if we beat Belgium, I don't think any team would want to face England".

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Leave us a comment below. "I'm looking forward to seeing us play again". "From Belgium's point of view, if the rumours are true and they are resting ten players in this game, they are thinking they want to get into the other half of the draw and avoid Brazil, Uruguay, France, Argentina and Portugal". I don't think it would be professional of us to put those players at a risk of missing the knockout phase.

"Eric's back in the team and he's very, very important to us", he said yesterday. I go back to the fact we're trying to develop a winning mentality and I can't imagine a situation where I talk to the players about anything else.

Kane has been on record to say he wants to play as he hunts down history.

"We'll will make a final assessment tonight for him to be involved or not".

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Roberto Martinez has already indicated that he will ring the changes against England.

While Lampard & Co. are beginning to believe England can win the World Cup, the players are remaining grounded, refusing to look any further that their next game, dismissing projections of last-16 clashes or which route to the final could be easier. "And your job as a manager can't be just to keep people happy".

The knockout bracket of the World Cup is set with groups sending their top two teams to opposite sides, a process usually makes for a fairly evenly stacked bracket. Or shall they go all out and build confidence for the rest of the tournament? Sweden or Switzerland would await in the last eight with one of Spain, Russia, Croatia or Denmark standing between them and a place in the final.

Japan need just a point to guarentee their place in the enxt round, as do Senegal.

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