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Key Fixtures – England vs Belgium

Belgium De Bruyne
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England vs Belgium will be played on Thursday 28th June 2018 at the Kaliningrad Stadium, Kaliningrad. These are the places where you can watch

The last time we saw an England vs Belgium was in a 2012 friendly, which ended 1-0 to England. A Danny Welbeck goal saw English victory in a physical game for the three lions. This was during a time where Eden Hazard was the focal threat at Belgium, just after agreeing terms with Chelsea. Hazard’s potential impact was cushioned in this game by England’s defensive style of play however. Fast forward six years and Belgium have improved massively whilst England are just getting to grips with their restructure. This is how we see them compare:

Key Players for Belgium

Kevin De Bruyne is on fire and will be tipped by many as Premier League player of the season. It’s no doubt that having him in the side will provide the vision and skill needed to get through. England should be wary as a lot of possession will be going through him.

Hazard isn’t going to be an easy player to keep quiet. The quality of his performances for Chelsea have fluctuated this season but class is permanent, as they say. He is capable of taking on multiple players at a time, assisting team-mates and finishing beautifully.

The quality of Lukaku has been the object of much speculation, his £75m fee from Everton had been the catalyst for this. But when Lukaku has intuitive, creative midfielders to feed him the ball, he’s a big problem for defences; he has a knack of creating space for a shot by using his body and strength, and his consistently high goal tally in the premier league over the past few years is testament to all this. By contrast, when his midfielders are stifled he becomes isolated and ineffective. That’s the key to get him out of the game. Good luck with that with this side though.

Key Players for England

Harry Kane is the focal point of Tottenham’s attack and he is one of the best finishers in the world, right now. In 2017 he scored 8 hat-tricks in the premier league – this is reason enough to make the Belgium defence worry. Teammate Jan Vertonghen will likely have an insight into Kane’s game that may help the Belgian team in this bout but it’s probably not going to make a difference to Kane’s performance overall.

Twenty-one year old Dele Alli already has 65 career goals to his tally. He is a sure start in an attacking midfield position for England and his level of performance in the Spurs side backs this up.

It’s the start of 2018 and Raheem Sterling is the joint top goal-scorer at Pep Guardiola’s unstoppable Man City side with Aguero (18 goals and 4 assists). At the time of writing, Sterling has achieved this in considerably less shots attempted too. Although he’s usually held to an air of criticism from England’s traditional sports media, his career has seen improvement every season and this upward trajectory of quality has skyrocketed this season. If he keeps up his form into the tournament and stays away from injury and fatigue, Belgium will be in for a problematic game.

It’s sure to be an entertaining game, follow our social media channels for in game updates!

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