Kick-off: 1500, 14/07/2018
Stadium: Saint Petersburg Stadium
England and Belgium must quickly recover from semi-final defeats to battle it out for third place at Russia 2018 and we reckon the Three Lions are more likely to rise to the occasion.
Gareth Southgate has instilled a strong sense of team spirit in his side, whereas the Red Devils seemed to lack the same togetherness late on in their loss to France.
In what is always a slightly strange affair, 11/5 for the Three Lions is good value and gets the nod as our first Belgium vs England prediction.
A Look At Belgium’s Betting Odds
Belgium shaded a 1-0 victory when these teams met during the group stage, courtesy of Adnan Januzaj’s fine strike, but both sides had chances in that contest.
Roberto Martinez’s men then survived a major scare when battling back from 2-0 down to beat Japan 3-2, before putting in an excellent display to see off Brazil 2-0.
Getting past an in-form Hugo Lloris proved too hard in the semi-final loss to France, though, and the Red Devils seemed to become more and more fractured as that match went on.
Martinez admitted Saturday’s third-place play-off game is not one for which it will be easy to prepare, but challenged his players to see it as another opportunity.
He said: “The only time that it happened in Belgian football was in 1986 and we finished fourth, so we need to understand that this is an important game.”
Belgium will still be dangerous going forward, but we just fear the unity shown earlier in the tournament will now be gone.
A Look At England’s Betting Odds
England appeared to grow in confidence after ending their penalty hoodoo against Colombia and enjoyed an authoritative 2-0 triumph over Sweden in the quarter-finals.
The Three Lions also seemed in full control when leading Croatia 1-0 at half-time, with Harry Kane missing a great chance to add to Kieran Trippier’s superb free-kick.
However, Croatia came on strong and opportunist strikes from Ivan Perisic and Mario Mandzukic sent them through to the final following extra-time.
Southgate said of his young side: “They have to go through big matches and big-match experiences to be able to become a team that can win.
“If you look at every other nation that has had success, they’ve got to semi-finals and maybe not got across the line first time. But they have to use the experience for the benefit.”
The overriding impression of this team is that they will be able to dig deep and deliver one more energetic performance, even if a few changes are made to the starting personnel.
We’re adding 21/2 for a 2-1 victory to our Belgium vs England betting tips.
France 1-0 BELGIUM
Croatia 2-1 ENGLAND (AET) – Trippier
Head-to-head: England 0-1 Belgium, England 1-0 Belgium, England 2-1 Belgium, Belgium 0-0 England, England 1-0 Belgium