Germany exit shows anyone is vulnerable England manager Gareth Southgate

Wendy Jensen
June 28, 2018

Phil Jones has told ESPN FC he is relishing the prospect of lining up against Manchester United teammates Romelu Lukaku and Marouane Fellaini when England face Belgium in their final World Cup group game on Thursday. It's not every time you go through after two games, so we're happy with that.

"I feel that the players we've picked are free, but they've got a point to prove", Southgate said.

Southgate, though, was adamant nothing other than three points against Belgium has been discussed, insisting his side are prepared for the prospect of facing more hard opponents, having beaten Panama and Tunisia so far in Russian Federation.

Southgate knows how much that will mean to the defence-minded player, having headed to two World Cups as a squad member himself but only played at the 1998 tournament.

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Germany and Brazil's struggles mean qualifying in second could actually yield a more favourable knockout path on paper, but Kane was dismissive of the notion that England will do anything other than try to make it three wins from three against Belgium.

In the event of a draw, the two sides' fair-play record could decide who finishes top, with England boasting the advantage ahead of kick-off. OK, we know what they don't have - experience - but what's just around the corner for them? "So, why we are starting to plot which would be a better venue for our semi-final is beyond me really".

"It shows that with Italy and the Netherlands out before the tournament, Chile, who were in the Confederations Cup final, and now Germany, you can not relax and miss the opportunity to constantly improve".

Lukaku's four goals place him level with Cristiano Ronaldo and one behind England's Harry Kane in the race for the Golden Boot as the tournament's top scorer.

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It's the question on the lips of every England fan - is it better to lose to Belgium on Thursday night?

England would join Uruguay and Croatia as the only teams to win all three of their group games and, in doing so, set up a last-16 tie against the runner-up in Group H. I go back to the fact we're trying to develop a winning mentality and I can't imagine a situation where I talk to the players about anything else.

"We have no idea who, when or where we will play in the next round, but we are pleased we are in it".

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Other reports by Info About Network

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