2020-21 UEFA Nations League: Belgium vs England

Belgium welcome England to Den Dreef in Leuven for a huge UEFA Nations League A2 clash as the hosts look to seal their spot at the Finals next autumn. 

Victory for the Belgian Red Devils could see them qualify for the finals as League A2 winners if Denmark lose to Iceland, although a draw would set up a tense final round of fixtures on Wednesday regardless of what Denmark do.

A win for England coupled with draw or loss for Denmark against Iceland could well send the Three Lions top heading into Wednesday’s final games.

 

Team News

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Belgium will be without Blackburn’s Thomas Kaminski and Real Madrid’s Eden Hazard after the pair were withdrawn due to positive Coronavirus tests.

Henrik van Crombrugge, Alexis Saelemaekers and Leandro Trossard all withdrew through injury.

England will be without the suspended Reece James who has been released from international duty after featuring in Thursday’s friendly win over Republic of Ireland.

Conor Coady is out as he self-isolates after coming into contact with someone who tested positive for Coronavirus whilst Marcus Rashford has also left the squad due to injury.

Manager, Gareth Southgate will meanwhile rotate his squad following Thursday’s friendly win over Republic of Ireland, with Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling and Ben Chilwell set to start alongside likes of Phil Foden and Jack Grealish who are likely to retain their places in the starting lineup.

 

Stat Attack

  • Belgium are unbeaten in four of six previous competitive meetings against England (W2, D2, L2).
  • England have lost just one of their 11 previous trips to Belgium, albeit those clashes were all friendlies (W9, D1, L1).
  • Each of Belgium’s last eight goals in all competitions have been scored by strikers only, with four of those goals coming from Crystal Palace’s Michy Batshuayi.

 

Prediction

Belgium will be disappointed with their sluggish performance at Wembley last month which allowed England to clinically outplay them, so they need to come out with stronger pressing and energy to keep the Three Lions on their toes throughout this game.

England meanwhile produced a strong dominant win over Ireland on Thursday but with likes of Kane, Sterling and Chilwell returning, I do expect them to raise their performance a notch but they will have to take their chances against a difficult Belgian team.

This therefore will be a difficult contest because there isn’t much to separate these two teams, although the fact that England are Belgium’s bogey team in terms of games actually played within Belgium could well be something which ominously swings this England’s way.

Prediction: Belgium 1-2 England

Result: Belgium 2-0 England

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