Harry Kane set to start for England in group decider against Belgium

Harry Kane set to start for England in group decider against Belgium

But they have played teams who have been tactically very good.

For that reason, don't be surprised if you see a few extra fouls between the two sides on Thursday.

"I think the team have shown in their performances - and this is not me getting ahead of myself - just look at the talent in our squad and the way they're playing, why should we write ourselves off?" "We've learned an enormous amount from studying Germany as a team, last summer [at the Confederations Cup] not least, and implemented that". Both will be vying for top spot in Group G as they lock horns in Kaliningrad. "That would mean we top the group and we would go into whatever game we go into moving forward".

"We think that we need to keep winning football matches", he said.

Argentina only booked their place in the knockouts in the dying embers of their final group game, against Nigeria, while European champions Portugal and 2010 winners Spain were far from convincing in Group A.

"We're trying to develop a winning mentality and I can't imagine a situation where I stand in front of the group of players I've got and start talking to them about anything else", said the former under-21s coach.

Leading up to the game, Belgium's manager Roberto Martinez said beating England is not a priority.

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The legendary Argentine forward has now also scored in three World Cups , and has played in four. Even victory could see them exit the tournament if Iceland beat Croatia by enough goals.

"We know what we're up against, we know their players inside out and know what we've got to do".

"You are thinking quarter-final, semi-final and I think that someone, including England, is going to have a huge opportunity".

Whether Southgate's comments are just lip service or a statement of intent remains to be seen.

Does the concept of "winning the right way" even matter in this amoral era of capitalism - when the line between right and wrong is usually determined by the bottom line? The Belgians, though, are known for their pragmatism and may not be as anxious about this perception of right and wrong, if the pre-game chatter is to be believed.

The World Cup knockout bracket has already begun to take shape, and it's clear that one side of the bracket is a much more challenging path to the final.

The victor of group G will be decided on fair play ratings and England have collected two yellow cards to Belgium's three going into the tie. Lukaku vs England, Lukaku is injured. And both players will be keen to increase their tally tomorrow. Harry Kane continues to lead the line but Marcus Rashford is preferred to Raheem Sterling and Jamie Vardy as the captain's strike partner.

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