DISCLAIMER: Odds and article last updated 13:00 12/07/2018
It’s the game nobody wants to be a part of, but England and Belgium will play off for the best of the rest in the third place play off, after losing to Croatia and France respectively. Dan McCarthy takes a look at the betting markets ahead of the game.
Belgium to Win in 90 Minutes @ 6/5 - BET NOW
Belgium are slight favourites to triumph in the third-fourth place play-off, perhaps owing to the fact that they already beat England earlier in the tournament during the group stages.
In what a was a game played in a strange atmosphere, Belgium beat the Three Lions 1-0, with Adnan Januzaj scoring the winner after curling in a left-footed shot from outside the box.
However, by this point both sides had qualified for the last 16, meaning both Roberto Martinez and Gareth Southgate chose to field significantly weakened sides for the game, with no fewer than 17 changes between them.
Belgium were narrowly beaten by France in a very close and tense semi-final after Samuel Umtiti nodded in a set piece to send Les Bleus through to the final.
Before that, they had to show great strength and resilience to beat Japan 3-2 after being 2-0 down, while they demonstrated why they are now being seriously considered as a powerhouse football nation when beating Brazil 2-1.
England, meanwhile, have defied expectations in getting to the semi-final, only two years on from their most embarrassing result ever at international level when losing to Iceland in the European Championships.
It is a tournament that will live long in the memory for both of these teams, but Belgium are generally seen to have the more well-rounded squad and are narrowly ahead in the betting for this game.
Belgium to Win and Both Teams To Score @ 13/5 - BET NOW
Because of the nature of the game, it is unlikely it will be too cagey an affair, so both teams might take the handbrake off and go for it.
Obviously, the game will depend a lot on team selection, whether either manager will decide to stick with the majority of their first XI or give some of the squad players a chance to impress in their final game in Russia.
Both sides have scored plenty of goals during the tournament so far with Belgium hitting 14 and England netting 12, with Harry Kane currently on course to be the first English striker since Gary Lineker in 1986 to win the Golden Boot award.
The third place play-off tends to be full of goals with at least three being scored in every match since the 1974 World Cup, with the emphasis being on attacking play and sending fans home happy rather than playing safe defensive football.
Both sides are very strong in attack and will look to exploit each other through the middle, which means it could be a very entertaining encounter.
However, Belgium’s prowess in the middle of the park might just be a little bit too much for England and they could snatch third place from them.
|France v Belgium||1 - 0||10/07/2018|
|Brazil v Belgium||1 - 2||06/07/2018|
|Belgium v Japan||2 - 3||02/07/2018|
|England v Belgium||0 - 1||28/06/2018|
|Belgium v Tunisia||5 - 2||23/06/2018|
|Belgium v Panama||3 - 0||18/06/2018|
|Croatia v England||1 - 1 (AET: 2- 1)||11/07/2018|
|Sweden v England||0 - 2||07/07/2018|
|Colombia v England||1 -1 (England win 4 - 3 on Penalties)||03/07/2018|
|England v Belgium||0 - 1||28/06/2018|
|England v Panama||6 - 1||24/06/2018|
|Tunisia v England||1 - 2||18/06/2018|
Belgium Predicted XI: Thibaut Courtois, Jan Vertonghen, Toby Alderweireld, Thomas Vermaelen, Thomas Neunier, Marouane Fellaini, Axel Witsel, Yannick Carrasco, Kevin de Bruyne, Romelu Lukaku, Eden Hazard
England Predicted XI: Jordan Pickford, Kyle Walkjer, John Stones, Harry Maguire, Eric Dier, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Fabian Delph, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Danny Rose, Jamie Vardy, Marcus Rashford
Punters are do not seem to recognise the importance of odds comparison and often stay loyal to one bookmaker when they could be offering a much lower price on the market they wish to bet on.
For example, if you fancy John Stones to open the scoring as England pull off yet another set-piece goal, then you can get him at a best-price of 33/1. That's a remarkable difference when you consider his worst price is 25/1. With such variable prices on offer, why wouldn't you use Easyodds' comparision service to ensure you get the best-price for the bets you stake?
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