England, Belgium battle for top spot after Germany World Cup shock

England training

Tomorrow we want to perform well but the priority is not to win.

Quite so. Even tonight's match against Belgium is unlikely to be the test that Southgate would probably like.

Eric Dier, who has only received a couple of seconds of World Cup action thus far, is set to start the match in the Kaliningrad Stadium. In the event of a draw, the two sides' fair-play record could decide who finishes top, with England boasting the advantage ahead of kick-off. The final round of matches in group H take place at 3pm.

Belgium boss Roberto Martinez has made it clear he doesn't want to win and could make up to 10 changes. That would mean we top the group and then we can move forward. "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".

"We are building a team that are passionate to play for England, they want to win every time they go out and are improving all the time, and I think we'll see that again". We just have a hunch.

Southgate held his press conference yesterday afternoon, at the same time that news filtered through from Kazan that holders Germany had been dumped out of the tournament by South Korea.

Now, we seem to be faced with a similar dilemma with teams that play later can engineer their performance to chart their course.

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"In sport and in life you have to keep evolving".

"There is more than just Lukaku to worry about and we've got a number of very good players in our team they need to be anxious about too", he added.

What happens if England win or lose?

If the game ends in a draw, fair-play points will decide Group G's victor.

That experience has shaped his approach to a match in which England are through to the last-16 regardless of the result, and he will use the opportunity to involve as many players as possible before the knockout phase.

England´s forward Harry Kane celebrates with England´s midfielder Jordan Henderson (R) after scoring a penalty during the Russian Federation 2018 World Cup Group G football match between England and Panama at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium in Nizhny Novgorod on June 24, 2018. Tunisia and Panama are eliminated.

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