England face a monumental must-win game on the road in Belgium on Sunday night time, while the hosts look to seal their place on the UEFA Nations League finals.
The Three Lions sit in third place in League A Group 2 with two games to go, and there may be fairly some work to be performed if Gareth Southgate’s men want to nail down a spot at next summer time’s mini tournament.
Level on seven points with Denmark in second, England should beat the Red Devils to stand any likelihood of progressing – a feat they managed at Wembley last month.
Belgium’s destiny is of their own fingers as they will qualify for the Nations League finals with a win regardless of the outcome of Denmark’s game in opposition to Iceland, with the latter already relegated.
Should England and Belgium draw and Denmark win, then it could go down to the last round of fixtures on Wednesday night time.
Here’s ‘s preview of the game.
When is Kick-Off? Sunday 15 November
What Time is Kick-Off? 19:45 ( GMT )
Where is it Played? Den Dreef, Leuven, Belgium
TV Channel/ Live Stream? Sky Sports Main Event (UK)
Referee? Danny Makkelie (NED)
Belgium might be with out a few key players for this game; captain Eden Hazard and goalkeeper Thomas Kaminski have both been sidelined after testing constructive for COVID-19.
Leandro Trossard, Timothy Castagne, Alexis Saelemaekers and Hendrik van Crombrugge have also been pressured out due to injury. Kevin De Bruyne, who wasn’t involved in Belgium’s 2-1 victory over Iceland last month, is anticipated to return to the lineup.
England have loads of personnel issues of their own coming into this clash. Trent Alexander-Arnold, James Ward-Prowse and Joe Gomez have all been pressured out of the squad due to injury, while Marcus Rashford is also reportedly sidelined with a shoulder injury. Conor Coady has been sent home after reported publicity to COVID-19
Harry Maguire and Reece James are suspended following their respective red playing cards in opposition to Denmark.
First group regulars such as captain Harry Kane, Jordan Henderson and Jordan Pickford did not feature within the pleasant win in opposition to the Republic of Ireland on Thursday and might be wanting to make their manner back into the starting XI.
Belgium: Courtois; Alderweireld, Denayer, Boyata, Meunier; Witsel, Tielemans, De Bruyne; T. Hazard, Dries Mertens, Romelu Lukaku
England: Pickford; Walker, Dier, Keane; Trippier, Rice, Henderson, Chilwell; Sancho, Kane, Sterling
The hosts have turned a corner following last month’s 2-1 defeat by the hands of England with slim victories over Iceland and Switzerland. The return of midfielder De Bruyne might be a huge increase for the home side, contemplating the truth that Eden Hazard is at present not within the body.
Belgium have three victories out of 4 within the Nations League and Roberto Martinez’s men will have their eyes set on securing qualification for the finals and getting one over Southgate’s men.
After a deserved 2-1 victory over Belgium last month, England put on a lacklustre show at home to Denmark with red playing cards for Maguire and James summing up what was a horrendous night time for the Three Lions.
However, they will be wanting to take some confidence from this week’s robust displaying in opposition to Ireland and do the double over the Red Devils within the group section.
Here’s how both sides have fared of their last 5 games in all competitions.
Belgium 2-1 Switzerland ( 11/11 )
Iceland 1-2 Belgium ( 14/10 )
England 2-1 Belgium ( 11/10 )
Belgium 1-1 Ivory Coast ( 08/10 )
Belgium 5-1 Iceland ( 08/09 )
England 3-0 Republic of Ireland ( 12/11 )
England 0-1 Denmark ( 14/10 )
England 2-1 Belgium ( 11/10 )
England 3-0 Wales ( 08/10 )
Denmark 0-0 England ( 08/09 )
England have the power in depth to address the injuries and suspensions on their fingers. They’ve looked better on the back lately and much more potent going forward with Jack Grealish being on the coronary heart of their attack.
Should the Aston Villa forward keep his place on Sunday, he may cause all types of issues for a Belgian defence that has looked shaky within the past few games.
However, Belgium might be welcoming back De Bruyne, a man who can decide a game on his own and if he is within the temper, Belgium are second to none going forward.
Prediction: Belgium 2-1 England