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Football tips: Best bets for England v Belgium

25 Mar | BY Tom Hill | MIN READ TIME |
Football tips: Best bets for England v Belgium

Expect a tight, cagey affair when the Three Lions take on the Red Devils in their final friendly of the international break.

England and Belgium will continue their preparations for this summer’s European Championships with what looks like a high-profile friendly at Wembley on Tuesday night. 

Neither of the two teams managed to win their first friendlies of this international break on Saturday, with Brazil getting the better of the Three Lions with a 1-0 win, while Belgium were held to a goalless draw by the Republic of Ireland.

Both managers have plenty to think about going into this game, as they are each missing some key players from their squads.

Best bets

Under 2.5 goals /

Draw /

Half-time/Full-time: Draw/Draw /

Wembley crowd should be in for a quiet night

England’s fans will only get two more chances to cheer on Gareth Southgate’s side at Wembley before they head off to Germany.

Those who were there on Saturday did not get to see England’s strongest team take to the field, and Southgate’s squad looks set to be even weaker for Tuesday’s encounter with Belgium.

England captain Harry Kane has returned to Bayern Munich to have further rehab on an ankle injury, while Kyle Walker pulled up with a hamstring injury against what was an inexperienced Brazil early on in the 1-0 defeat.

The Three Lions will once again be without their talismanic captain, and it showed last time out just how much they rely on him for goals – with him having scored three of the last six England goals, a tally which also includes two own goals.

Games between England and Belgium are often low-scoring as well, with seven of the last nine meetings between the pair featuring two goals or less.

There is also a sense that this pivotal stage of the domestic season might be more of a focus for a lot of the players, and a low-scoring grind is expected at Wembley.

Hard to split Euro hopefuls

Southgate and his Belgium counterpart, Domenico Tedesco, will still fancy their respective teams’ chances of going all the way this summer, but this month’s friendlies have come at an awkward time.

Few risks, if any, have been taken with a number of key players, and that is unlikely to help either side’s cause on Tuesday night.

A key player for both club and country, Bukayo Saka had already withdrawn from the England squad early, and although Romelu Lukaku, Leandro Trossard and Youri Tielemans may feature for Belgium, they are not guaranteed club starters, and Kevin De Bruyne will be missing.

England’s defeat to Brazil was their first home defeat in a friendly since March 2016, while Belgium are in decent enough form as they are unbeaten in 11 games under Tedesco, winning eight.

Given the respective form of both sides, it is very easy to see this game ending in a stalemate.

Double result a way to play offensive issues

England looked shaky at the back at times against Brazil, but still only conceded one goal to the South American giants, while Belgium have been defensively sound, keeping three successive clean sheets, albeit against Serbia, Azerbaijan and the Republic of Ireland.

Those three sides may not possess the same quality as the Three Lions at full strength, but Southgate’s men are struggling on the offensive side of the ball. Another defeat is likely to create unwanted attention for Southgate, and he may well take a more pragmatic approach and make sure his side is more defensively strong.

Belgium struggled to break down the Republic of Ireland in Dublin and there may well be little so split these sides through 90 minutes, given the calibre of player that is missing from both camps.

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