Belgium host England in a crunch Nations League tie at 7:45pm on Sunday as the competition for top spot in Group A2 hots up.
The hosts currently hold first place, having won three of their four Nations League games so far. Roberto Martinez’s side are two points ahead of Sunday’s visitors, who have drawn one and lost one of their matches to leave them third, behind Belgium and Denmark with two games left to play.
Despite their position in the group and Belgium’s remarkable 23-match unbeaten run at home, England will be confident of getting a result against world’s No1-ranked side, having come from behind to beat them 2-1 in the reverse fixture at Wembley last month.
Gareth Southgate’s team warmed up for the trip to Belgium with a comfortable 3-0 win over the Republic of Ireland in a friendly on Thursday, while the hosts beat Switzerland 2-1 on Wednesday.
Where to watch Belgium vs England on TV:
- UK: Sky Sports Main Event
- US: TUDN & ESPN
Where to live stream Belgium vs England:
US ONLY: Fubo* are streaming a selection of Nations League fixtures live for account holders. Those without a Fubo account already can take advantage of their seven-day free trial by following the simple steps below.
- Click on this link.
- Click ‘Start Your Free Trial’ and enter your details.
- Log in and pick your desired channel to watch.
*Geo restrictions apply. Fubo is currently available in the United States, Canada and Spain. Packages and pricing differ per country.
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Belgium & England’s previous line-ups:
- Belgium (vs Switzerland): Mignolet; Bornauw, Mechele, Vertonghen; Chadli, Vanaken, Dendoncker, T Hazard; Praet, Lukebakio, Batshuayi.
- England (vs Republic of Ireland): Pope; James*, Keane, Maguire, Mings, Saka; Winks, Mount; Grealish, Sancho, Calvert-Lewin.
Both managers will make a raft of changes to their starting line-ups from the midweek friendlies.
Leandro Trossard, Alexis Saelemaekers and Hendrik van Crombrugge are all unavailable for Belgium through injury, while Eden Hazard and Thomas Kaminski have both tested positive for Covid-19.
Despite those absentees, Martinez still has a strong squad to choose from. Thibaut Courtois is back fit and expected to replace Simon Mignolet in goal, while Toby Alderweireld, Jason Denayer and Dedryck Boyata could all come back in to make up the first-choice back three.
In fact, Thorgan Hazard could be the only player to keep his place from the side which beat Switzerland on Wednesday, with Thomas Meunier, Axel Witsel, Youri Tielemans, Kevin De Bruyne, Dries Mertens and Romelu Lukaku all usual first picks.
Southgate will also ring the changes. Reece James is suspended after being sent off against Denmark, so either Kyle Walker or Kieran Trippier will play right-wingback, while Eric Dier and Ben Chilwell could replace Tyrone Mings and Bukayo Saka respectively.
Jordan Pickford is expected to return in goal, Declan Rice and Jordan Henderson to the midfield and Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling to the attack. Marcus Rashford has been ruled out of both of England’s games with a shoulder injury and Conor Coady is absent.
Players to watch:
- Belgium: For Manchester City and Belgium, Kevin De Bruyne is the one who makes things tick. The creative midfielder is the heartbeat of the Red Devils’ side. Stop him and you go a long way to stopping Belgium feeding Romelu Lukaku up front. De Bruyne’s ability to drift into space, create overloads down the flanks and send in world-class set pieces makes him the key player for the hosts.
- England: Southgate is without the injured Rashford, but Harry Kane can make up for the Manchester United forward’s absence. England have won three of their last four away games, scoring 11 times without conceding a single goal. If they are to continue that streak, and end Belgium’s unbeaten home record, then they will need Kane to continue his remarkable start to the season which has seen him score 13 goals in 18 appearances for club and country.