ONLY one booking separates England and Belgium in the race for top spot in Group G – and it's likely to be a tight contest between the pair today.

It could come down to who wants it most and who makes the fewer changes after two wins out of two apiece.

Belgium boss Roberto Martinez has already said he'll rest the likes of Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku and Dries Mertens.

Those changes will play into England's hands but Gareth Southgate will also rest several although strangely Harry Kane will play to boost his Golden Boot hopes. I thought it was all about the team.

I can't get away from the fact a draw won't be a bad result for either side – same as France v Denmark was a nailed-on stalemate – with winnable last-16 ties awaiting for the top two.

Runner-up in the group potentially faces Sweden or Switzerland in the last eight and Belgium seem to prefer that more than the English.

William Hill say if England finish second their odds will be cut from 7-1 to 6-1 to go all the way.

Spokesman Joe Crilly said: “England are 7s and we know pretty much every side who has qualified. We say with more certainty that second spot in Group G would see the price come in to 6-1 and topping the group would see the price drift to 8-1.

“As it is at the moment the 7-1 about England is the closest they have been to the top of the betting since the 2002 World Cup.”

The stalemate in Kaliningrad pays 2-1 at William Hill while England are 8-5 at betfair with Belgium 2-1 with Coral.

I backed John Stones to score at 12-1 against Panama and this time it could be his central-defensive partner Harry Maguire on target at 18-1 with bet365. England have been dangerous at set-pieces and to net first he is 40s at bet365.

Kane leads the Golden Boot race by one and is 7-2 with bet365 to break the deadlock.

Both sides have netted eight times but goals could be at a premium if neither side is desperate to win and I'm backing under 2.5 goals at 7-10 at McBookie.

The other Group G game sees Tunisia face Panama and while the Africans are favourites at 4-5 with McBookie I'm on both to score at 10-11 at Marathonbet.

In Group H Japan will qualify with a win against eliminated Poland and should get it at 8-5 with William Hill.

Senegal and Colombia should therefore be a shootout for the second spot with the Africans just needing a draw.

Colombia have recovered well from losing a man early in their opener against Japan and I'm backing them at 17-20 with betfair but best bet could be both to score at 10-11 with betfair.

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1 Comment
  1. elvis parsley 1 year ago

    I wouldn’t touch the England game until the early games have finished.
    If Colombia finish 2nd in their group England and Belgium would rather avoid them I’m sure so it will be a race to finish 2nd so they would meet Japan or Senegal.
    Could be an honourable draw in that case which keeps their unbeaten runs going with both teams going for the most bookings to finish 2nd as goal difference and goals scored would be identical and yellows are expunged from quarter finals so one yellow tomorrow will be taking one for the team.

    If Colombia win the group then England and Belgium would rather win to avoid them so I don’t buy the belgians saying 10 changes as the scenario come kick off might be different.

    Basically it could be a shit game with more cards than goals

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