Why England Might Be Better Off Losing Their Final Game

Jun 30, 2018, 00:40
Why England Might Be Better Off Losing Their Final Game

His team will face Colombia on Tuesday in Moscow, followed by possible matchups against Spain, Russia, Croatia, Denmark, Sweden and Switzerland.

But Southgate's somewhat reasonable explanation veered when he compared England to a Belgian side he labeled as far more experienced.

"The Belgium game was a reminder to us of the standard of teams we are coming up against from now on", Cahill told the London Evening Standard.

Southgate said: 'I felt the need to sit with him, but he was brilliant.

Kane and Co. will be playing against Colombia, and manager Gareth Southgate is calling it the "biggest knockout game for a decade".

With both teams assured of a place in the last 16, England and Belgium both rested key men for their Group G encounter.

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Lukaku lies joint second alongside Cristiano Ronaldo in the race for the World Cup Golden Boot, one shy of England captain Harry Kane, who has five.

While Matinez's idea about resting players certainly makes sense, there is risk in halting the momentum of a player like Lukaku, who has been in irresistible goal-scoring form in Russian Federation. A win against Japan could potentially set up a tricky fixture against Brazil in the quarter finals.

"Yeah I'm very pleased with that, to score a great goal against a great opponent", Januzaj said in the game's post-match press conference. "But in the past in England I had a lot of criticism and now I wanted to show the people that I am here, so you know I am very happy with that".

Martinez has already floated the idea of wholesale changes against England, in a game where he claims victory is not a "priority" for his side.

"We were all exhausted at the end of the match", the keeper turned coach said. We saw that in the Euros two years ago. Usually, that is on a run, but after dislocating his shoulder in Repino during a day off last week, Southgate has spent time gathering his thoughts on a Wattbike, instead.

"Southgate gambled here", said BBC's chief football writer Phil McNulty.

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"In sport and in life you have to keep evolving".

Neither side has had the best of tournaments, but both have a game - Uruguay's resounding defeat of Russian Federation and Portugal's draw with Spain - that shows they can contend with anyone.

"There are no easy games ahead of us". They face the unsafe Colombia and will meet the victor of Sweden against Switzerland in the last eight if they come through.

Rashford and Januzaj are undeniably big talents, but they've both had their ups and downs.

In Group H, Colombia finished top of the standings with a 1-0 victory over Senegal while Japan barely squeezed into the final 16 despite losing 1-0 to Poland - because the Samurai Blue had fewer tournament yellow cards than Senegal.

Debate has raged over whether it would be better to finish second in Group G, given the winners would be in line to meet Brazil if they reached the quarter-finals.

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Lukaku has been in superb form so far in Russian Federation, scoring a brace in each of the wins over Panama and Tunisia.

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