Kane benched as England, Belgium make wholesale changes

England and Belgium battle it out for top spot in their group on Thursday as the remaining teams at the World Cup digest Germany´s astonishing exit from the tournament in Russian Federation.

A slightly freaky start to media duties at the Kaliningrad Stadium entailed, where Southgate delayed entering the room as long as possible watching Germany versus South Korea on a screen in the corridor outside, and then everyone had half an eye on social media or muted live streams for the first five minutes, until Germany's exit was confirmed. England had to settle for second, and will play Colombia in Moscow as group runners-up. "They [Belgium] scored an excellent goal, we didn't manage to do so, but we'll learn a lesson from it".

A win for any of the sides will see one of them topping the group while a draw would result in England topping the group on fair play, unless England gets more yellow cards than Belgium in this match.

"It's obviously disappointing but we have to keep our spirits high in the camp and we have to take positivity into the next game, which is a obviously an important game for the county", he said.

Colombia have grown into this World Cup and can not be taken lightly.

England manager Gareth Southgate once again reiterated his desire to win the game and continue a fine run of form but at his own pre-match news conference, Martinez stated three points were only part of the equation. He gets energised when he is alone and uses the time to mull things over.

Captain Harry Kane is the top goalscorer at the World Cup with five goals so far and the Tottenham talisman is likely to start against Belgium. This would in theory be their first real test, but there's little riding on the result and both teams will probably make changes.

More news: Senegal secure Africa's first win at World Cup

If Southgate learned lessons from this, it is that he got his original World Cup selection pretty much spot on. Eight are expected, with Kane keeping his place to lead them.

Japan coach Akira Nishino has warned his players against complacency when they meet the already eliminated Poles.

But England top Group G because they have a better disciplinary record, after receiving two bookings compared to Belgium's three. Russian Federation 2018 will be his fifth World Cup. "We're always talking to our players about discipline on the pitch, avoiding needless free-kicks". Will it come down to yellow cards?!

"We want to win the game". "What this means for the next round we don't really know".

"If we can win great, but I think the priority is another one than just winning tomorrow". I can't imagine a situation where I talk to the players about anything else. We saw that in the Euros two years ago.

"Now we need to look into our individual players". A stark change from their quiet, sleepy Repino base.

"We want to win the game", said Southgate. Which many will agree, oh you brainy bunch. "That would mean we top the group and we would go into whatever game we go into moving forward".

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