10 October 2020 18:38
England return to UEFA Nations League this weekend as they take on the world's top ranked side in Belgium. AFP or licensors 3 England beat Wales in midweek but now face big guns Belgium in the UEFA Nations League England and Belgium clashed twice at the World Cup in 2018 – with Belgium emerging victorious on both occasions. England's build-up to this game has been hit by more off-field problems but their 'second string' side did impress in the friendly win over Wales. Gareth Southgate sent a warning to England's absent players that they must fight for their positions in his team following their win over Wales. "There is a strong chance he won't be with us for the UEFA testing in the morning, which would rule him out on Sunday but we would expect Tammy and Jadon to be available for that." GETTY 3 England and Belgium clashed twice at the World Cup in 2018 – with Belgium coming out on top both times England v Belgium: Squads Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold, Ben Chilwell, Conor Coady, Eric Dier, Joe Gomez, Michael Keane, Harry Maguire, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Tyrone Mings, Bukayo Saka, Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker Forwards: Tammy Abraham, Harvey Barnes, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Danny Ings, Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, Raheem Sterling GARETH SOUTHGATE is expected to ring the changes for England's Nations League clash with Belgium at Wembley tomorrow.
The Three Lions boss fielded an experimental XI for Thursday's friendly win over Wales but big guns including Harry Kane and Jordan Henderson are likely to return against Roberto Martinez's side. 2 England's likely XI vs Belgium Despite calls for Nick Pope to retain his place in goal given Jordan Pickford's shaky Everton form, Southgate is expected to stay loyal to the Toffees' stopper and reinstate him. The five-man defence worked well vs Wales and the same system will likely be utilised against Belgium's dangerous attack which includes Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku. Harry Maguire should be recalled at centre-back alongside Joe Gomez and after impressing with a goal and a clean sheet on Thursday, Wolves' Conor Coady could slot in at the middle of the three. If Southgate does not hand Coady his first competitive Three Lions start, Tottenham's Eric Dier is expected to play.
Belgium have two wins from two in Group 2 of League A, with seven goals scored and one conceded. England will be hoping to take confidence from their comfortable 3-0 win over Wales as they enter back into the nations league to face Belgium. The Red Devils have an ageing squad and I'll be interesting to see if they can cope with this new look, youthful England side at Wembley. Belgium come into this on the back of a disappointing draw over the Ivory Coast and former Wigan and Everton manager Roberto Martinez will be looking for a response. England tend to take a while to get into their groove and the pair could be figuring each other out in the early exchanges but once the game opens up there will be plenty of dangerous attacking players on all sides, especially with both having plenty of ammunition on the bench. England vs Belgium ZEbet Tips: Latest odds, team news, preview and predictions The Three Lions will be hosting the Red Devils at Wembley hoping to get maximum points and stand a better chance of advancing in the Nations League warmed up for Sunday's Nations League clash with a 3-0 win over in an international friendly. England vs Belgium Latest Odds Considering they are playing at Wembley, the Three Lions are tipped to win at (2.67) with ZEbet despite winning just once and losing twice in the last three meetings with Belgium. Despite being defeated 1-0 by England at Wembley in 2012 - the last time the Red Devils were away against the Three Lions - Belgium are tipped to walk away with maximum points at (2.47). The two teams have met eight times in all competitions and each has managed to get three wins, with the remaining two games ending in a draw. England vs Belgium Team News England boss Gareth Southgate says Jadon Sancho and Tammy Abraham will be available for Sunday's clash despite breaching Covid-19 rules, but Ben Chilwell is still a doubt.'s Sancho and duo Abraham and Chilwell were all called up for the Three Lion's latest round of international fixtures after strong starts to the new club season. The stopper was deemed unfit ahead of the friendly against on Thursday and will miss the Nations League game against England on Sunday as well. England vs Belgium Preview England have never won against Belgium from open play in the last three competitive matches. The last time they managed to defeat the Red Devils was in the 1990 World Cup knock-out phase thanks to an extra-time goal by David Platt. Sunday's game will be the first time the two teams are meeting in a competitive assignment at Wembley. England vs Belgium Tips and Predictions The last time either side conceded three goals or more in a meeting between the two clubs, it was in 1970, when England won an international friendly 3-1. England face what should be their toughest test since the 2018 World Cup on Sunday when the world's top-ranked side, Belgium, arrive at Wembley. The contest will likely go a long way to deciding the teams' Nations League group, one Belgium lead by two points from England after two of the six sets of games. Southgate will change virtually his entire XI - Joe Gomez possibly the only one who will keep his place - with stars such as Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford and Harry Maguire returning. England beat the Welsh 3-0 in the end and there were certainly some good signs from Southgate's stand-ins but it should also be remembered that much of the first half was hard work as his players struggled to get the most out of the 3-4-3 formation which was also employed without great effect against Iceland and Denmark last month. Where Belgium can target England That looks an area of concern for England, as does the left side of their defence where Kieran Trippier again looks set to play out of position. Roberto Martinez hasn't been afraid to ask his star striker to do that in the past - the tactic worked wonders in the World Cup quarter-final against Brazil, while the Belgium boss also employed in on occasions when he had Lukaku at Everton. With the attacking side of the ball looking both sides' strength, the game could feature a few goals, although it is worth noting that the visitors will be without both Eden Hazard and Dries Mertens. Hazard, in particular, is a big miss for this team so perhaps England could offer a spot of value at [2.88] to win the game. I can't argue with both teams to score at [1.78] but that price immediately makes over 2.5 goals at odds-against ([2.02]) look a bit big. England's defence may have gone six games without conceding but it has been breached regularly against better sides - the Czechs scored twice against it in European Championship qualifying, the Netherlands won 3-1 (after extra time) in the inaugural Nations League Finals, while Spain and Croatia are others to have scored two against England since the start of the 2018 World Cup. He has a terrific record in international football, scoring 26 goals in his last 22 competitive games. Belgium have scored in each of their last 19 away matches, scoring 54 goals (W15 D2 L2), while scoring at least twice in 16 of those 19 games, including each of their last 13 (38 goals scored).